By Bill Heaney
Scottish Liberal Democrat Leader and Health spokesperson, Alex Cole-Hamilton MSP has called on the Scottish Government to “abandon” their ministerial takeover of social care after new figures today showed almost 12,000 people in Scotland are waiting to be assessed or have a care package arranged.
Figures from Public Health Scotland showed that:
• 7,522 people, as of 20th February 2023, are waiting for a social care assessment in Scotland.
• 4,445 people, as of 20th February 2023, have been assessed and waiting for a package in Scotland.
• 43,910 hours of care at home are yet to be provided to assessed individuals, as of 20th February 2023.
Mr Cole Hamilton, pictured above right, said: “These figures confirm that there is an ever-deepening crisis in social care which users and staff need resolved now. Not in five years’ time. Not with the fuss, froth and fanfare of a billion-pound bureaucracy.
“The government must abandon their plans for a ministerial takeover of social care.
“Charging ahead with proposals to consume gargantuan sums of money which won’t address the core problems in the sector is mind-mindbogglingly out of touch.
“The first thing the next FM must do is scrap ministers’ billion-pound power grab of social care. Scottish Liberal Democrats want to see this money spent on better pay, conditions and career progression for staff now, as well as bringing in guaranteed standards and entitlements for those who depend on social care.”
Meanwhile, Mr Cole-Hamilton MSP has called on the Cabinet Secretary to “wake up to the reality of this crisis” following the news that 1 in 7 Scots are still on an NHS waiting list.
According to the latest data from Public Health Scotland, 772,887 people are now on an NHS waiting list. This means there are still around 1 in 7 Scots on a waiting list.
Mr Cole-Hamilton said: “These statistics lay bare the impacts of the failure of this SNP/Green coalition to manage Scotland’s NHS. They have been ignoring and deflecting when it comes to our healthcare crisis.
“We’ve grown used to hearing about the crisis in our NHS, but that 1 in 7 Scots are still languishing on a waiting list is just completely unacceptable, and the lack of action from the government is an insult to doctors, nurses and patients waiting in pain.
“Scottish Liberal Democrats have repeatedly called for a burnout prevention strategy and a staff and social care assembly, but these have been ignored time and time again by Humza Yousaf who is determined to blame the pandemic for all the failures that have happened under his watch.
“Mr Yousaf now seems infinitely more interested in his own political ambitions than sorting out this mess. He needs to wake up to the reality of this crisis and get to work. Staff and patients have been suffering for far too long to entertain yet more nonsense from this government and this failed health secretary.”