Central Scotland MSP Graham Simpson has called on the SNP Government to end a postcode lottery of care and repair services across Scotland.
He raised the issue in a question to Minister for Older People and Equalities Christina McKelvie last week. Mr Simpson said the services are a vital tool in keeping older people in their homes for as long as possible but care and repair has been axed in some councils.
He said: “It is completely unacceptable that older people in some parts of Scotland can’t access care and repair.
“I asked Christina McKelvie if she would review funding arrangements and I have agreed to write to her with details of what’s going on in some parts of Scotland. Luckily, in our patch of South Lanarkshire, we have a very good care and repair service as I saw on a recent visit to their base in Lanark.”
Care and Repair South Lanarkshire employs 7 members of staff offering a range of support and services such as personal alarms, safety alarms and adaptations. Their use of assistive technology helps people stay in their own homes for longer.
They are currently responding to 20-25 alarm calls per week with approximately 10 house visits per week. With extra funding they would like to offer more support for dementia sufferers and a maintenance service, but without extra funding this is not possible. Adaptations and maintenance can reduce trips and falls, reducing the burden on the NHS as well as the pain and inconvenience for the patient.
Mr Simpson said: “I was impressed by the hard work and dedication of Jamie Burgess and his team at Care and Repair South Lanarkshire. The service they provide is vital to local people. With Scotland’s ageing population we need to provide resources across Scotland to ensure that every older person is able to live independently as long as possible.
“Extra funding would ensure that they could provide greater support, particularly to clients suffering from dementia. It is completely unacceptable that people are denied this service since some councils have withdrawn funding.
“I want the SNP to commit to review the funding mechanism that supports this service. This should not be a postcode lottery – all older, disabled and vulnerable people should be able to access this service. We need to ensure that it is consistent across Scotland.”
A review of funding has been called for by Age Scotland and Care and Repair Scotland. Care and Repair services provide a wide range of practical services and advice to assist elderly and disabled people to live in their own homes in more comfort, security and with greater independence.