Home care packages extend to more than 1,000 users during COVID-19

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Assessments have taken place on whether home care package users in Argyll and Bute can be looked after by family during the COVID-19 pandemic.

A report by the area’s health and social care partnership (HSCP) revealed that more than 1,100 residents are now receiving care at home packages.

That led to a question being raised into users’ vulnerability at a meeting of the HSCP’s integration joint board (IJB) at its meeting via Skype on Wednesday May 27.

And Caroline Cherry, the HSCP’s head of adult services, confirmed that while a final report is awaited, assessments have taken place.

She told the meeting: ‘There was, and has been, an assessment on everybody in current receipt of a care at home package to ensure we have enough in each locality.

‘We also have people who have refused and would rather have family look after them at this time. We have taken notes and looked into the risk factors.

‘But we are waiting for an operational report to come back in order to look at people’s needs, so it is something we are still working on.

‘If people said they did not want a care at home package, we would have looked at their vulnerability.

‘I don’t have the package numbers but I am more than happy to get the information for you.’

The report, by the HSCP’s head of strategic planning and performance Stephen Whiston, outlined the measures put in place to deal with the COVID-19 situation.

In the document, Mr Whiston said: ‘For health and care services in the community, the existing workforce has been able to cover essential non-COVID work.

‘However, as the pandemic goes on, these service will need to support two other groups of people in the community: those who are discharged from hospital after treatment for COVID and those being cared for with COVID in the community.

The latter group will include a number of people in care and residential homes or supported living accommodation.’

A question was also asked at the meeting on whether assurances had been given that the Scottish Ambulance Service (SAS) had the capacity to cope while the pandemic is ongoing.

Mr Whiston said: ‘Absolutely. We worked hard with the SAS on their proposals and they have been key members of working groups.

‘They were clear about their plans and we had reassurances. They have seen a lower level of demand across the whole service.’