Finlay Carson MSP

Galloway and West Dumfries

Carson raises concerns over length of care package waiting times

Galloway and West Dumfries MSP Finlay Carson has raised serious concerns over the length of time many people are waiting for care packages in Dumfries and Galloway.

Freedom of Information requests by the Scottish Conservative and Unionist MSP have highlighted the number of people in the region waiting on care packages, as well as the average number of days.

The problem is worst in Nithsdale whereas of 23 September, 49 people were waiting for a care package, with an average waiting period of 16 days, which was also the average waiting time as a whole across the region.

Currently there are 26 individuals in Stewartry waiting for packages and on average they are waiting 20 days for one.

The situation is slightly better in Wigtownshire where 20 individuals are waiting, with the average period being a week.

Mr Carson says there is an urgent need to focus health and social care resources on rural communities, where the elderly population is rapidly increasing.

In Dumfries and Galloway, the population of over 75's is expected to have risen by over a quarter between 2016 and 2026.

Commenting, Finlay Carson MSP said: "These figures are stark and show the true scale of the situation in terms of care packages across our rural communities.

"It is absolutely imperative for patients, residents and our hard-working staff on the front-line that care packages are accessed as quickly as possible.

"That is not the case right now with patients having to wait weeks at a time to get a care package, putting added stress on them and their families.

"The elderly population in Dumfries and Galloway is rapidly increasing and there is an urgent need in order to provide resources to NHS Dumfries and Galloway that fits those needs.

"We must give patients greater confidence that they will be able to access care packages as soon as possible.

"Our carers are being over-stretched and underfunded which is a dangerous combination and I hope these figures can act as a wake-up call to look again at how rural populations are properly funded."