Alison Johnstone_smallAlison Johnstone, Lothian MSP and Scottish Greens' spokesperson on Health, Wellbeing and Sport, has called for an stronger focus on accessible housing and well-paid care workforce in Scottish Government's health and social care integration plans.

Commenting on Audit Scotland's new report for the Accounts Commission and Auditor General, which warns of risks associated with healthcare and social care integration, Johnstone highlighted that the transition to community-based care would only benefit patients if investment is directed to secure the infrastructure and professional care support required.

Johnstone pointed out that without housing fit for home-care, and a well-paid, fully trained care workforce to support families, patients' wellbeing could be put at risk.

Alison said:

"We must ensure that the transition to integrated health and social care is truly focused on patients' welfare, not on cutting back costs. Without decent, accessible housing and well-paid care workforce to support families, this transition could leave many patients trapped.

"At the moment, too many care professionals are struggling with low pay and unrealistic schedules that don't enable them to spend enough time with those requiring care. These workers make it possible for patients to stay in their communities , and we must ensure they are treated with the respect they deserve.

"Without an accessible home to return to, patients and their families won't be able to go about their everyday business. It's crucial that we invest properly in adapting homes to people's needs, and think about accessibility when we build new housing stock too."