A serious shortage of social care workers is threatening the care of older and vulnerable residents of the Royal Borough and neighbouring Wokingham.

The frontline organisation Optalis was set up three years ago to deliver adult services in the Royal Borough in partnership with Wokingham Borough Council - designed to run as a local authority trading company owned by both councils.

Currently, there are 59 full-time positions unfilled, both temporary and permanent.

Jeannette Crisp, Director of HR and Corporate Services at Optalis, said: “With a number of staff isolating, we’re in desperate need for more care workers to join us in providing a range of care to those in the local area.

"Our roles cover support for older people, dementia, learning disabilities and more, so any additional help during this time would make a substantial positive impact on the lives of the vulnerable in our area.

“We’ve made the interview process quick and simple while adhering to all social distancing rules to ensure they’re as efficient and safe as possible. So far, we’ve seen a really positive response, but we’re in need of more support than ever to ensure everyone continues to receive the care they need.”

Those interested in taking on a role with Optalis will be invited for a quick chat to discuss the role before taking part in a telephone interview.

They will then be asked to complete a health questionnaire along with DBS check and referencing. Training will also take place online and, if required, any face-to-face meetings will be held in a large meeting room to adhere to social distancing requirements.

Jeannette added: “Experience is not always necessary, as long as you are kind, caring and interested in making a difference to someone’s life.”

For more information about Optalis and the roles available, visit www.optalis.org or call 0118 977 8600.