By Bill Heaney
The SNP’s failure to deliver on social care has left patients ‘stuck in limbo,’ Scottish Labour has said today, as the latest figures reveal just under 5,900 patients are still waiting for a social care assessment.
A shocking further 3,900 patients were assessed and waiting for a care at home package as of the 9th October 2023.
This comes just months after SNP plans for a National Care Service have been left in tatters as hardworking staff continue to struggle with the increased level of demand.
Scottish Labour has called this a ‘damning indictment’ of the SNP’s approach to social care and demanded immediate action must be taken to invest in the sector and fix the growing workforce crisis.
Scottish Labour Health spokesperson Jackie Baillie said: “The fact that hundreds of patients are still waiting for proper social care support is a damning indictment of the SNP and their failed plans for a National Care Service.
Jackie Baillie and LibDem leader Alex Cole-Hamilton – campaigning for people waiting for care.
“Patients are being left stuck in limbo, without access to proper care simply because the SNP did not plan their investment in the sector properly.
“The SNP’s failure to deliver on their social care plans, coupled with the serious workforce shortage facing the sector must be reversed immediately and action must be taken to ensure this crisis does not get any worse.
“We are months down the line from promises to improve access to care, but things are still in tatters. The SNP must take urgent action to improve access to social care, beginning by investing properly in the sector, tackling the workforce shortage and removing non-residential care charges.”
Meanwhile, Scottish Liberal Democrat leader and health spokesperson, Alex Cole-Hamilton MSP has called on the Scottish Government to get to grips with the crisis in social care by providing proper support for local authorities and health boards, after new figures showed that nearly 10,000 people are waiting to either be assessed for care at home or to have a care package arranged.
Figures from Public Health Scotland show that as of 9th October 2023:
5,900 people are estimated to be waiting for a social care assessment.
- 3,900 people have been assessed and are waiting for a care at home package.
Mr Cole Hamilton said: “No matter how much ministers decide to bury their heads in the sand, the crisis in social care just isn’t going away. Staff, who have been overstretched and undervalued for years, are now on their knees while far too many people are stuck waiting far too long to get the help they need.
“We cannot afford to wait years for the government’s proposed billion-pound bureaucratic takeover of the sector, which no one wants and which fails to tackle key problems.
“Scottish Liberal Democrats want to see health boards and local authorities empowered to provide a high quality of care. That’s why we’ve stood up against this ministerial power grab from day one.
“If there is a billion pounds available, we want that money to be spent on rewarding staff with better pay and conditions, as well as introducing guaranteed standards and entitlements for those who depend on social care.”