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Emergency placement support (EPS)


Health & care


  • Specialist care support provided within hours

  • Went above and beyond to provide food and drink for the service user

  • Provided a seamless continuity of care throughout placement

The challenge

In February 2024, Reed was approached by Sheffield City Council to find emergency support for a vulnerable young person at very short notice.

The young person’s original placement had been closed by Ofsted with immediate effect, and given the current placement crisis in the UK, it was going to take the council some time to secure new permanent accommodation. Therefore, Sheffield City Council asked us to source temporary and immediate support for this young person while they searched for a longer-term solution. It was vital that the young person was supported, and his wellbeing needs met, in a safe environment, given the difficult situation he was faced with, leaving his current home.

Reed’s Senior Area Manager for health and care, Rob Muddiman, said: “We had to ensure we had as much information as possible at short notice so that our workers were fully informed about this young person’s needs, could quickly use that information to start and build a rapport with him, and ensure he felt at ease and confident in those supporting him.

“I listened to the social worker and assistant director to obtain as much information as I could, and using that information, I was able to consult and advise on what type of cover could work and in what format, and more importantly, match the staff to meet the young person’s needs. It was also vital to use as few staff as possible to maintain a small consistent team and ensure continuity of care.

“The real challenge with this placement was not just the short notice, but the uncertainty of how long the support would be needed for,” he added. It was essential therefore that Rob was able to effectively manage the workers’ expectations of the role, only considering those who were able to be flexible with its requirements.

The solution

With Reed’s specialist database of health and care professionals, Rob was able to approach a pool of staff who had worked in similar circumstances, feeling confident they could meet the brief. This role required staff who worked well with young people, who communicated effectively and who could follow robust safety planning.

Within a short space of time, the team had professionals on standby ready to start. We arranged 24-hour shifts, including sleep cover, as this allowed greater consistency for the young person and minimised the number of new faces.

While we didn’t have an end date to work with, Sheffield City Council worked transparently with us, and together we were able to identify workers who had significant flexibility so that cover could be arranged on a weekly basis.

As the placement was a last-minute requirement, we were asked to assist in ensuring the property was ready for the young person in addition to securing the support. We were happy to help the council with this and arranged for the care workers to source food and drink for the young person and make the accommodation comfortable and homely for their stay.

Rob, knowing that quick communication was key, provided both the council and the care workers with a 24/7 direct line to contact him. He explained: “Time was of the essence, so any small issues that came up needed to be taken care of immediately before becoming a big issue. This is something at Reed we are exceptionally proud of, and our emergency placement support service provides our clients with a reliable and fast communication channel, so we are always on hand at the drop of a hat.”

The results

We were successfully able to meet the council’s requirements within just four hours. The cover was needed for two and a half weeks in the end and Reed’s health and care team were on hand throughout the placement, ensuring everything ran efficiently, and that handovers between staff members were smooth and the continuity of care seamless.

On the service we provided, Cerrianne Evans, Service Manager at Sheffield City Council, said: “I’m glad that we made this connection with Reed, we felt comfortable and confident that they could deliver. We really value the working relationship we have with Rob and wouldn’t hesitate to contact him again in a crisis.”

Rob and the team kept in constant contact with the council, giving them the reassurance they needed of their ability to provide appropriate support for the vulnerable person. In circumstances like this, the team understand the importance of communication and efficiency and were able to access the existing pool of specialist care workers who provided cover within a matter of hours.

Cerrianne said: “Rob absolutely met our needs in full. He understood the brief and provided an excellent crisis response. I would advise others in this situation to contact Reed. We have worked with other generalist recruiters in the past, but we really felt the difference with Reed's specialist knowledge and outstanding communication – which were invaluable.”

For more information about our emergency placement support service, get in touch with the specialist team at

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