Scottish Care statement on delayed discharge

In January Scottish Care published research which highlighted the crisis which is facing Scotland’s home care services. We warned then and re-iterate the message again today that the survival and sustainability of homecare in Scotland is under serious threat because of the lack of sufficient investment. See

Our January survey showed that:

• Nearly 40% of care at home services handed work back to Local Authorities in 2017 on the basis of sustainability and capacity
• Half of home care services did not apply for contracts offered by their Local Authority in 2017 on the same grounds
• 86% of home care services are concerned about their sustainability and survival in 2018, with nearly a quarter extremely concerned
• 9 in 10 home care services are struggling to recruit staff for essential posts.

Scottish Care’s Chief Executive, Dr Donald Macaskill commented:

“The data released by Scottish Labour is concerning. Behind every statistic there is a story, for every day spent unnecessarily in hospital there is a lost opportunity for some of our most vulnerable citizens to be spending time at home with their family and friends. Often these are individuals in palliative care and end of life. Sadly, these statistics come as little surprise to Scottish Care.

There is a real crisis in homecare. Assessments are being delayed, care packages are not being offered, in part because many care providers in both the charitable and private sectors simply cannot deliver quality care on the rates they are being offered. I recently visited someone in hospital and 5 out of the 6 patients in the ward were ready to go home but they could not. That is a shameful waste.

For a long time Scottish Care has been calling for additional investment in social care. We all know the data about delayed discharge but we need to stop talking about statistics. People are stuck in hospital not because care cannot be delivered but because the resource is not being allocated to enable it to be bought. Despite every effort of local authorities to protect social care we have seen year after year a squeeze on the ability of care at home providers to meet the rise in demand and rise in costs.

The home care sector in Scotland is genuinely close to collapse and I am calling on politicians of all parties to work with providers to address these challenges. We will be told that there has been increased investment – well it is simply not enough as any visit to many hospitals will show. I am also deeply concerned that some of the proposed cuts to care home services in some parts of Scotland will see more and more vulnerable people being left unsupported in their own homes without care packages.

We have a huge number of home care services willing and able to provide high quality care in people’s own homes but who are stifled from doing so by a drive to the bottom because of a lack of resources. The inability of services to recruit and retain staff and to pay them a good wage further cripples these essential services. We are faced with a reality where a quarter of services are not sure they will still be operating this time next year.

We can no longer tinker around the edges of social care – the challenge needs to be grasped with both hands and driven forward by a political will to ensure there are a range of high quality, sustainable services available in people’s communities which will allow people to go home.

This holiday weekend when families come together we need to collectively address the underfunding of social care in Scotland which means that for too many often frail and elderly individuals they will be spending the Easter weekend in hospital rather than at home.”


Last Updated on 31st March 2018 by Scottish Care

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