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Monday, 11 December 2017

Tories criticise 'unacceptably long' waits for elderly care packages

Written by The Press Association

Tories have criticised "unacceptably long" waits some elderly people face for care packages after figures showed more than a quarter of those with "substantial" needs were not assessed within six weeks.

Scottish Government statistics covering the period January to March 2017 showed 26% of this group had to wait longer than this for an assessment to be carried out, along with 14% of those with "critical" needs, which was the highest classification.

Over the three months of this year 8,746 people were assessed to see if they would benefit from a care package - the highest number for the quarter since 2012.

Meanwhile 6,154 people across Scotland began receiving a personal care service, up from 4,440 over the period January to March 2016.

While 55% of people began receiving care in two weeks or less, 6% had to wait more than six weeks to start getting help.

Conservative health spokesman Miles Briggs said: "The figures show that the Scottish Government has clearly failed to ensure that patients requiring social and personal care are identified and supported in a timely and comprehensive way."

Mr Briggs stated: "Social care patients must be supported in the most suitable settings.

"However, at present many patients are facing an unacceptably long wait for social care packages.

"In some cases this lack of co-ordination will delay their hospital discharge and in other cases patients are forced to live in completely unsuitable and unsupported environments."

The Tory MSP added: "For patients, carers and family members it is extremely distressing waiting this long for assessment and care packages.

"In addition, GPs and other primary care services have to shoulder much of the caring burden during this time, and they are already under extreme pressure."

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