Hambleton District Council
We spoke to Vikki Flowers, an environmental health officer working for Hambleton District Council. The district is in North Yorkshire and covers around 900,000 people, with responsibilities including managing food safety, health and safety, infectious disease, animal welfare and environmental protection. Vikki’s team usually consists of around 15 to 20 people, but is bolstered by contractors whenever needed.
As with many organisations, the COVID-19 pandemic struck Hambleton District Council with a sudden need for staff. Environmental health officers became highly in-demand, while also shrinking in numbers due to illness. Vikki had access to COVID funding, but needed people to help with new responsibilities, including enforcing lockdown restrictions, investigating outbreaks in workplaces and providing business advice. She needed freelancers to help fill the gap in staffing, but environmental health officers were in short supply.
Vikki needed environmental health officers who could take on the task of managing all these extra responsibilities. COVID had caused a backlog of inspections that needed completing, on top of the ‘business as usual’ work that still needed to be done. There was also the need for a food safety officer, as talented people who could fill this role were in short supply. In total, Vikki needed the equivalent of two and a half full-time employees, so she turned to Vivid Resourcing for assistance.
*Vikki Flowers, Environmental Health Officer