Report reveals 332 people in Falkirk area are waiting on a care package - last year it was 32

Health and social care chiefs will hear of “significant pressures” on their services when the district’s Integration Joint Board meets.

Thursday, 18th November 2021, 4:45 pm

Tomorrow's meeting will hear that while the demand for health and social care services has increased dramatically, the capacity to deliver has been affected by staff being off sick.

A report to the board will reveal “there has been an increase in length of stay for unscheduled care admissions at the Forth Valley Royal Hospital, and delayed discharges have been increasing over recent months”.

It notes there has been a 45 per cent increase from pre-pandemic levels of the number of people at end of life at home.

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There has been a dramatic rise in the number of people waiting for care packages

The demand for packages of care has also risen with 332 people currently on the waiting list – an increase of 32 per cent in the last three months.

In September 2020 there were only 32 people on the list.

The board will also hear that staff sickness absences levels are running at “a level significantly higher than that seen pre-pandemic”.

It notes the absence rate for district nurses in September was 7.19 per cent compared to 5.32 per cent in January 2019.

Across social work adult services the average absence in 2019 was 9.19 per cent and in 2021 it was 11.93 per cent.

It also said that organisations providing care packages have had to stop work citing sickness absence and staff leaving as the reasons.

Falkirk Council has been forced to put out a calling notice for volunteers to work specific shifts at peak periods in care at home and care homes with a “small number’ of staff coming forward.

The report states: “There are significant pressures in the health and social care system, both locally and nationally. These pressures are resulting from increased demands for health and social care, concurrently with a reduced available workforce.

"The significant challenges are anticipated to continue throughout the winter period. The teams will continue to work to address the emerging challenges to provide safe care.”

The cost of the pandemic is currently estimated at £9.311 million, an increase of £1.383 million on previous estimates.

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