Crichton welcomes care service plan

Western Isles prospective Labour candidate Donald Crichton has welcomed the Labour Party’s plan to establish a National Care Service if it forms the next administration in May.

This reform of elderly care would bring together health and social care budgets under the one organisation so that there would be more effective co-ordinated and targeted joint working.

An expert panel established by the Labour Party and chaired by Sir John Arbuthnott to consider the creation of a new National Care Service, will be holding ‘listening events’ with health and social work professionals thoughout Scotland over the next few months.

Mr Crichton said: “ The care of our elderly in our communities is something we take seriously and the establishment of

the new National Care Service will help to end bed blocking in hospitals by ensuring better joint working between the NHS and social work departments. The key to ending delayed discharges is better joint working between services which, at the moment, have different priorities and are allowing elderly patients to fall between the cracks.”

“The senior generation in our community deserves the best possible care. They have served their community well and the least we can do is in return provide a service of care that meets their needs effectively. This is what I believe a new National Care Service will do.”

The latest census, published at the end of November, shows that there were 128 patients delayed for over 6 weeks. This compares with 62 in the previous quarter. Health Minister, Shona Robison, promised the figure would remain at zero.

Shadow Health Secretary Jackie Baillie said: “What we are proposing is the most ambitious reform of elderly care since the creation of the National Health Service in 1948. It is really important that as people live longer we meet the challenges of caring for an ageing population.

“Social care budgets have been cut by £400 million in the past three years under the SNP and as a result we are seeing patient care suffering and the return of bed blocking to our hospitals.”