McArthur to highlight growing pressures on care services in the islands

Orkney MSP Liam McArthur will meet with the Health Secretary tomorrow (08/02) to highlight growing problems in meeting demands for self-directed support in the islands. 

Under the terms of The Social Care (Self-directed Support) (Scotland) Act 2013, local authorities have a duty to offer people who are eligible for social care a range of choices over how they receive their support. While this was intended to be ‘cost neutral’, being paid for through savings in services no longer having to be paid for by the local authority, the experience in Orkney has been very different.

Ahead of tomorrow’s meeting, Mr McArthur, who will be joined by representatives of Orkney Health & Care and Advocacy Orkney, many of whose clients are experiencing difficulties in accessing some types of support.

Ahead of the meeting, Mr McArthur said:

“It is right that people should have as much choice as possible over the way in which they receive care and self-directed support undoubtedly can help achieve that. However, from experience, it is clear that delivering such support in our islands presents particular challenges.

“In a small local authority area, with a population spread across multiple islands, providing care services is inevitably more expensive. The opportunities to make savings are limited and therefore the growing demand for self-directed support is placing more and more pressure on Council finances.

“This is not sustainable over the medium to long term, particularly given the further changes to care regulations due to come into force over the next few years.

“I am very grateful to the Minister, therefore, for agreeing to meet with me, Orkney Health & Care and Advocacy Orkney to discuss these concerns. I hope it will be possible to identify a way of ‘island proofing’ these provisions so that people in Orkney get access to the care they need but in a system that is sustainable”.


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