MSP fears Falkirk has a growing social care crisis on its hands
Central Scotland MSP Richard Leonard is demanding action after it emerged the cost of delaying discharges from hospital in Forth Valley totalled over £22 million in the last five years.
Mr Leonard said, in total, more than 87,000 bed days have been lost in the Falkirk area over the period and points to a growing crisis in social care.
He also highlighed the fact more than 25,000 people in NHS Forth Valley were stuck on a waiting list, with almost 900 of them waiting for more than one year.
“Health and social care workers are working tirelessly,” said Mr Leonard. “They are providing the best care they can, but are struggling to cope.
"We need an NHS recovery plan fit for purpose and a National Care Service, wholly in public hands, which properly rewards staff for the care they provide to our loved ones.”
A spokesperson for Falkirk Health and Social Care Partnership said: “Prior to the Christmas period, our combined efforts with colleagues in NHS Forth Valley, Falkirk Council and the third sector reduced delayed discharges to the lowest recorded in the previous three months, showing progress can be made despite significant pressure throughout the system.
“We are continuing to experience significant challenges, with similar pressures being faced across the country.”
An NHS Forth Valley spokesperson added: “Over the last few months, health services across Forth Valley have come under increasing pressure due to a high number of patients requiring care for both non-COVID and COVID-related health conditions.
"Local social care and care home services are also facing significant staffing pressures along with increasing demand for home care, particularly for people with complex needs.
"This means that some patients who are clinically well enough to leave hospital can often face delays in returning home or moving to a local care home. Work continues with partners and local voluntary organisations to reduce delays for the many patients in local hospitals across Forth Valley who are well enough to leave but are experiencing delays in being discharged.
"This includes identifying alternative, more suitable, accommodation and facilities where people can stay on a temporary basis while they wait for a package of care or a place in a local care home.”