Waiting times across Scotland’s health and social care have been described as shockingly high.
Public Health Scotland, which earlier this year revealed that a concerning number of NHS procedures in Scotland were being cancelled due to staffing and funding issues, has now published data on the provision of community care services in the country, which reveals that there has only been a minor reduction in wait times for both assessment and care since the start of the year.
Age Scotland’s Interim CEO, Katherine Crawford, said:
“These are shockingly high figures. Our helpline hears from older people and families on a daily basis about the long waits they face for vital social care at home.
“It is wholly unacceptable for so many older people to spend weeks or months in limbo, waiting to be assessed or for a social care package to be put in place. The longer people wait for care, the more acute their needs can become.
“Urgent action is required from government, councils and policy-makers to address the staggering fact that there are over 10,000 people across the country who are not currently getting the care they need, and are entitled to.
“Considering the additional pressure the social care sector faces every winter, our fear is that this will only get worse as the year progresses and ramp up during the colder months, causing greater pressure on the NHS and poorer health outcomes for older people.
“Once again, this demonstrates the undeniable need for reform in social care, both in terms of effective delivery and significant funding boosts. There is no choice but to be bold on reform to ensure we have a social care system that delivers for everyone who needs it.”