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Scottish Labour urges more funding for care at home

Elderly care in Scotland is at the centre of a new push by Scottish Labour to secure increased local funding.

New Health and Social Care Partnerships are to take control of the budgets for adult social care and community nursing in Scotland this week, and one of their first challenges will be to address significant budget shortfalls. An investigation by the Herald newspaper found that councils in Scotland are set to exceed their adult care budgets this year by a combined £13 million.

Typical ways that councils have attempted to make elderly care savings in the past have included restricting care home admissions and reducing allocations of the equipment that can help disabled elderly people continue to be cared for at home.

Jackie Baillie, Scottish Labour public services spokeswoman, said it was time for the Government to invest properly in elderly care: "We need to give our health service, established in the 1940s, the resource it needs to meet the challenges of the 2040s.

"That means greater investment in social care to take the pressure off our hospitals and give more patients the dignity of care in their own home. That will free up resources and crucially it means we can keep more vulnerable old people out of hospital in the first place.”

Fiona Lowry, our CEO, commented: “Investing in elderly care is absolutely essential. There is a clear benefit in enabling elderly people to continue living in the comfort and familiarity of their homes for as long as possible – but to do this they need the right equipment and support. There is also plenty of evidence to support Ms. Baillie’s point that providing elderly people with high quality care at home significantly reduces hospital admission rates.”