Carers should make their views known on allowances – and expose SNP breach of waiting times legislation
Jackie Baillie MSP, pictured, has called on carers in Dumbarton, the Vale of Leven and Helensburgh, to contribute to Scottish Labour’s discussion paper which is aimed at maximising the incomes of Scotland’s carers.
As the new carers allowance supplement comes into effect, Scottish Labour is inviting carers to set out how best Holyrood can use its new powers over the allowance to strengthen the support already offered by the benefit.
The paper seeks the views of carers on a number of suggestions aimed at increasing support for carers and their families, including maximising income and reducing council tax.
Other ideas include removing current limitations on other earnings, or time spent in education, which can currently make someone illegible for receiving carers allowance.
Jackie Baillie said: “Carers deserve our support. They provide invaluable care and love to their relatives and friends in their time of need.
“It is great that the carers allowance supplement is finally starting to pay out, but this should be the beginning of a whole range of new support, not the end. We must think about the overall package of support that we can provide alongside the entitlement to carer’s allowance.
“It is absolutely vital that carers have a voice in what kind of support they want and need. I am encouraging all of the carers in Dumbarton, the Vale of Leven and Helensburgh to contribute to Scottish Labour’s discussion paper to ensure that their views shape our priorities.”
Meanwhile, Scottish Labour is developing a blueprint for our NHS after official figures reveal that the SNP’s flagship waiting time law has been broken 35,129 times in 2018 and 153,170 times since it was introduced.
In 2012, the SNP Government introduced a new Treatment Time Guarantee, which gave patients the legal right to treatment within 12 weeks for conditions such as knee and eye operations. But figures released by ISD Scotland show that 18,338 patients waited longer than 12 weeks between April – June this year. This amounted to more than a quarter of all the patients seen during those months.
In Greater Glasgow and Clyde, the picture wasn’t much better, with almost 4500 patients having waited more than 12 weeks for treatment, representing one fifth of the total number of patients seen.
The figures also reveal a steady increase in the number of patients whose treatment time is being breached. With 2,929 patients waiting longer than 12 weeks when compared to the same period last year.
The MSP said:“The SNP’s Treatment Time Guarantee law is being broken continuously in Greater Glasgow and Clyde as well as across the country. Patients are being promised treatment within 12 weeks when hospitals and staff simply cannot cope with the increasing demand and decreasing resource.
“The number of patients waiting longer than 12 weeks for treatment in Greater Glasgow and Clyde has increased by more than a third just within the last year.
“It is clear that the SNP Government is not up to the job of delivering the support that our NHS needs. That’s why Scottish Labour is working with trade unions, charities, social care groups and health organisations to develop a blueprint for our NHS to ensure that it can deliver the care that patients deserve.”