Backbencher: ‘SNP’S flagship health plans not working’
Flagship Scottish Government plans to drive down hospital waiting times through the integration of health and social are “not working in practice”, a Nationalist backbencher has told First Minister Nicola Sturgeon.
Christine Grahame said that one of her constituents had been stuck in hospital for eight months awaiting a care package, as the SNP MSP raised shortcomings highlighted in a recent watchdog report in Parliament.
Among the aims of integrating health and social care was to drive down the problem of bed-blocking in Scotland’s NHS, where hundreds of elderly patients are stuck in hospital every day despite being well enough to leave.
Bed-blocking has been rising in recent months in part because patients don’t have a care package in place to allow them to return home.
Ms Grahame raised a recent Care Inspectorate report into services for older people which identified delays in assessments in the Borders, as well as providing services.
“I have one constituent admitted to the Borders General Hospital in February, not assessed until June and still waiting on his care package even as I speak,” she told Ms Sturgeon at First Ministers Questions. “By my calculation that’s eight months.”
Ms Grahame added: “Admirable though the integration of health and social care is, it is actually not working in practice.”
The average number of NHS hospital beds occupied per day in August 2017 was 1,343, it emerged this week. This compared with a daily average of 1,279 in May.
The First Minister said she was aware of the Care Inspectorate report and said that Health Secretary Shona Robison has already spoken to the local health board and leader of the council about these issues.
Ms Sturgeon added: “I know that NHS Borders has already taken steps to improve leadership, including learning from other NHS boards.”
A spokesman for Ms Sturgeon later said the First Minister believed the integration of health and social care was working well.
The Care Inspectorate report also exposed a string of failings in care for the elderly in Edinburgh, with the projected deficit in health and social care costs rising to £9 million.
More than 2,200 people are either waiting for an assessment for care at home or assessed as needing support as the effects of chronic underfunding in the capital start to
CHRISTINE GRAHAME hit home. Thousands of job vacancies remain unfilled as people choose to earn more money walking dogs or working as supermarket assistants than they can as carers.
Charities in Scotland have previously warned that the shortage of social care workers is putting people at high risk, with some being left without food, water and essential medicines.
A new study published earlier this week suggested delayed discharges fuel a rise in overall death rates. Researchers said 7,800 extra deaths a year in England and Wales are attributable to people being forced to stay in hospital longer than necessary.
“Admirable though the integration of health and social care is, it is actually not working in practice”
0 The First Minister responded to questions on social care during FMQS yesterday