Scottish Daily Mail

Ease care crisis by ‘paying families to look after their own relatives’


SCOTS families should be paid to look after elderly relatives to ease pressure on care services, bosses have said.

Under a scheme trialled in parts of the UK, family members would be given £15 an hour to provide care. The initiative was offered in Orkney over the festive period and in the south of England to help reduce pressure from delayed discharge from hospital and ease care staff shortages.

It comes following concern from care home operators. Last week, NHS Lanarkshir­e urged families to take patients who are no longer receiving treatment home to ‘bridge the gap’ while care plans were put in place.

However, the plans have sparked controvers­y as they would give families £5 more than the average care worker earns.

Scottish Labour health spokesman Jackie Baillie said: ‘Social care is in crisis and every possible way of providing care must be considered... but the fact of the matter is this is a sticking-plaster solution. If the SNP paid care staff £15 an hour, staff shortages could become a thing of the past.’

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