There is a real problem in Devon recruiting people to work in adult social care but I am pleased to report this week about a successful pilot programme which is helping to boost staffing levels. The problems are all too familiar. Across geographic Devon around 30,000 people are employed in adult social care and we're currently running at vacancy rates of around 10 per cent. At its most basic, that mean we can’t always help people as quickly as we’d like and hospitals can’t discharge some patients who are fit enough to go home but need someone to come in and support them with their everyday needs. That can lead to people staying in hospital longer than needed and result in ambulances queuing outside hard-pressed hospitals. You may have seen a news story about the NHS in Devon successfully recruiting 600 hospital nurses and other staff from overseas. Now we are being equally successful in Devon in recruiting adult social care staff from abroad and we'll be welcoming the first care workers and nurses over the next few weeks. We’ve joined forces with Plymouth and Torbay councils and the NHS, working as One Devon. One of the lessons we learned from Covid is that people need support which is joined up across local councils, the NHS and voluntary and community organisations and the new One Devon partnership aims to do just that. It's jointly chaired by my deputy leader, James McInnes, and has been funding the social care recruitment programme which is regarded as a leader nationally. The jobs market is highly competitive across most sectors in Devon. We are still making huge efforts to recruit and retain local care staff. But the Government has relaxed the rules on employing people from abroad and so we have looked further afield to secure the workforce we need to support the NHS this winter and to meet the needs of vulnerable people across Devon. Initially the target for our pilot was to recruit 175 people from overseas but we have had over 1000 applications so far and we are now hoping to be able to appoint around 250 people over the next few months with a view to them staying for up to five years. One of our requirements is for recruits to have a higher standard of English language skills than the required national minimum because of the sensitive nature of the work. We have been working with adult social care providers across the county and up to now around 60 have expressed an interest in appointing overseas staff. They mostly run care homes but are also in domiciliary care and housing with support settings. We are aware of a number of potential pitfalls - not least in accommodating these workers when we have a housing crisis in Devon and providing appropriate support - so our potential employers have been asked to demonstrate how they will integrate an overseas workforce and how they will support them with accommodation. Up to 50 of the first recruits could arrive next month with a carefully managed flow of people continuing in January and February. We recognise this won't solve the problem but it's another way we can manage the situation and we are now well placed to benefit from a £15 million fund the Government is launching to support this work nationally. Social care helps drive economic growth in Devon and is crucial to the well-being of the population. This project, although relatively small-scale, will make an important contribution to hospital flow this winter and help meet the needs of our vulnerable people.