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John Finnie MSP claims Moray Health and Social Care Partnership has reduced home visits by 404

By Garry McCartney

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A HIGHLANDS and Islands MSP has called on Moray Health and Social Care to urgently address concerns around a reduction in home-care support.

Reports suggest that the partnership has reduced its visits by 404, leaving many vulnerable people in the area struggling to cope, and many disabled people in an extremely difficult position.

John Finnie said: "There is huge disparity around the country with Moray HSCP reducing its clients and home care visits by 404, while Angus increased its by 80.

"The Scottish Government confirmed that extra support is available and that if more is needed it will be provided, so Moray HSCP must confirm that they will immediately access this support and restore home care visits."

Mr Finnie pointed out that the impact of the changes result in some people having their support packages dramatically reduced and others losing support entirely, with many then forced to rely on family members for personal care, meals and medication.

He said: "The impact on the mental wellbeing of disabled people, particularly in terms of social isolation which can disproportionately affect people with disabilities, is a huge concern.

"While it's vital that care is restored as quickly as possible, the immediate roll-out of online or remote mental health resources would be really valuable right now."

A spokeswoman for Moray HSCP confirmed it has raised the eligibility threshold for social care services from critical and substantial to critical to prioritise resources for those with the highest level of need.

She said: "Following the raising of the eligibility threshold, 159 people had their care at home package suspended. A further 13 people requested suspension of their care packages due to self-isolation.

"Every single package delivered in Moray was assessed in relation to providing critical care only and risk assessed. Suspension was carried out only following discussion with each service user and their relatives to ensure alternative informal support was in place as required."

She added: "The Enhanced Discharge Hub continues to keep all packages under review. Care has been restarted or increased in line with individual need where there has been a significant change in someone’s circumstances.

"The Scottish Government are supporting us with funding through our mobilisation plans. Expanding the workforce has not been limited by finance but the availability of staff locally. The way that we are delivering the service is to ensure capacity to meet demand whilst meeting critical needs for all."

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