North-east figures worst in country
The new Sue Ryder report has obtained confirmation, through a freedom of information request, that nearly 200 people with serious neurological conditions in Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire are living in care homes for older people.
The figures are highest in Aberdeen, with 102 people – of whom 22 are aged under 65 – placed in older people’s facilities.
That is 44.4 per 100,000 inhabitants, the most of any area which provided figures.
In Aberdeenshire there are 89 – 23 aged under 65 – which is 34 per 100,000, the third highest.
Elinor Jayne, policy and public care manager for Sue Ryder, argued it was time for an overhaul of government and council strategy.
She said: “There is a huge need for specialist neurological care, whether it be at home or in care homes.
“We think the Scottish Government needs to review what is available across Scotland to assess the best way forward with regard to residential care but it appears to us that there is both a need for specialist centres such as Dee View Court in Aberdeen and also better specialist support for people with neurological conditions who are in older people’s care homes.
“The whole public sector is under huge pressure so in many ways it’s no surprise the NHS and integration authorities are focusing on tackling the big problems such as older people’s care and trying to keep people out of hospital.
“However, people with neurological conditions are at risk of falling through the gap.”
The two councils admitted there were occasions when they had no option but to put individuals with neurological conditions into older people’s homes. Adam Coldwells, chief officer for Aberdeenshire Health and Social Care Partnership, said: “We strive to ensure people are placed in the most appropriate setting. Where possible, we provide care to people in their own homes. On occasions, we are required to use care homes to provide that appropriate care. As much as possible, this is a temporary situation.”
An Aberdeen City Health and Social Care Partnership spokesman said: “We await the publication with interest and will review it in terms of how we configure our services in the city.”