43 per cent of Scottish elders miss care assessment deadline

New research from national charity for older people Age Scotland has revealed that 43 per cent (6,000) of older people assessed as needing substantial or critical care in 2018 waited more than the guideline six weeks.

Age Scotland’s new report, Waiting for Care: Is Scotland meeting its commitment to older people’, also highlighted the wide range of waiting times across local authorities and the lack of accessible information held by them about the reasons for delay.  

Key findings in the report, include:

  • The average waiting time to receive social care was two and a half weeks among the councils who responded to Freedom of Information requests.
  • The average time to receive an assessment to determine social care needs was three weeks across Scotland, but it was higher in the Western Isles, Dundee, East Dunbartonshire, East Renfrewshire, Edinburgh, Falkirk, Midlothian, Moray and Perth and Kinross councils. This has increased since previous Age Scotland research in 2015  

The report gives six recommendations to speed up assessment, including; more regular data recording so councils can spot trends and better respond and plan for increased demand; further efforts to attract and recruit more social care workers; and ensuring that the resources required to fund social care in the future are met.

Commenting on this new report, Age Scotland’s Chief Executive Brian Sloan said: “While free personal and nursing care for the elderly has been a flagship, and revolutionary, policy in Scotland since its introduction in 2002 we need to face up to the challenges of a rapidly ageing population, more people living with dementia and the welcome expansion of this policy to those under the age of 65. This will require more investment in people and services.”

  • Scottish care regulator the Care Inspectorate has developed new care surveys for care homes for older people. These reflect the Health and Social Care Standards and complement the new quality framework for inspection introduced last summer. The new surveys replace the old care standards questionnaires.  

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