Ministers must speed up action on social care staffing given rise in patients stuck in hospital

The Scottish Greens are calling for Scottish Ministers to “speed up action” on social care staffing, as new figures show a rise in patients stuck in hospital - the vast majority of them waiting for social care.

In August this year, 43,913 days were spent in hospital by people whose discharge was delayed - an increase of five per cent compared with August last year. 75 per cent were delayed due to lack of social care provision.

Alison Johnstone, Health spokesperson for the Scottish Greens and MSP for Lothian, said:

“Too many people are stuck in hospital waiting for a care package, home or transport adaptation, or place in a care home, causing them and their families added stress. The Scottish Government is moving too slowly on the integration of health and social care, and needs to speed up action to tackle the lack of staff, which the Tories’ Brexit crisis isn’t helping.

“We need better pay to retain existing experienced workers as well as attracting new entrants. The Scottish Government expects the Living Wage of £8.75 per hour to be paid to all adult social care workers but that’s just not good enough. Given the cost-of-living pressures that workers face, we need to look at a higher rates of pay and payment for time spent travelling between clients, as I argued for when I led a debate at Holyrood on the issue last year.

“More broadly, we must put social care along with other local services on a firmer financial footing. Fairer funding of local services cannot be achieved by tweaks at the edges. It’s time for the Scottish Government and the Tories to stop blocking reform.”