Comment: Pressure is growing on social care

An elderly man receives care at home. Picture: istockphoto
An elderly man receives care at home. Picture: istockphoto
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Care at home has always been what is sometimes called a Cinderella service.

Like mental health services within the NHS, there is a persistent feeling that support services for older people living at home have been neglected over the years. That comes despite the fact it is is generally more cost-effective for the public purse to provide proper care at home rather than in hospitals or other care institutions.

Yet home care remains stretched across the country and in a particular mess in Edinburgh.

A damning report into the running of these services earlier this year has now been compounded by growing waiting lists. It is important to note that the quality of care being provided is generally high - when it is delivered. The problem is getting the right help to the right people at the right time.

This has a huge impact on qulaity of life and is a source for great frustration to all those affected.

The Independent Joint Board bringing together the NHS and council-run social services was supposed to help solve these problems.

The board’s interim chief officer Michelle Miller may be just in the door in your new post but she will be acutely aware answers are needed fast.