Kezia Dugdale calls for Holyrood task force to fix Edinburgh's care crisis

LABOUR'S Kezia Dugdale today called for the Scottish Government to send in a task force to tackle Edinburgh's care crisis.

Thursday, 6th December 2018, 1:10 pm
Updated Thursday, 6th December 2018, 1:15 pm
Kezia Dugdale has urged the Scottish Government to step in and sort the Capital's care crisis. Picture: John Devlin

She raised the issue at First Minister’s Questions following this week’s report by the Care Inspectorate which said only three of 17 recommendations had made “good or reasonable progress” more than a year after a damning report into the service.

The report said it was “still not uncommon for large numbers of older people to wait for lengthy periods before getting support”.

Ms Dugdale said the report’s findings were “stark and deeply distressing”.

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She said: “The city is failing hundreds of its most vulnerable residents.

“Many older people are unable to get help even when their needs are ‘critical or substantial’; not enough is being done to help people stay in their own homes which is adding to the Lothian delayed discharge crisis; there are lengthy waiting lists for users; staff can’t cope with demand with volunteers having to step in; and ‘performance and service quality’ of care-at-home has worsened.

“When NHS Lothian repeatedly failed to improve its performance the government sent in a task force. Isn’t it time the government sent in a task force to fix Edinburgh’s social car crisis?”

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said the government expected all the recommendations of the Care Inspectorate to be heeded by health boards and integrated joint boards.

“It is absolutely essential that NHS Lothian does that in relation to older people.”

She said the Health Secretary would have regular discussions with the health board and she would ask her to update Ms Dugdale on those discussions and take forward any further concerns she had.

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