Health and Social Care Scotland (HSCS) has published a plan outlining steps to prepare and support Scotland’s social care sector through the winter.
HSCS said the Adult Social Care Winter Preparedness Plan, backed by an additional £112m in funding, will support social care users in residential, community and home settings, and the people who provide that care, including unpaid carers.
The new plan and additional investment will provide further support to the sector to respond the demands of winter alongside the ongoing challenges of coronavirus (COVID-19).
Earlier this year the sector received an additional £150m to deal with the financial implications of the pandemic, bringing this year’s total extra allocation for social care to £262m.
An evidence paper has been published with the plan outlining how the new measures have been informed by lessons learned about COVID-19 to date, including last week’s Public Health Scotland discharge report and the Care Inspectorate’s Care at Home inquiry.
The plan also takes into account the findings of the root cause analysis of care home outbreaks commissioned by the Cabinet Secretary, which is also published today.
Health Secretary Jeane Freeman said: ‘The coronavirus pandemic presents unprecedented challenges for everyone this winter, particularly those who are already vulnerable. One in 20 people in Scotland are recipients of adult social care and their needs are diverse.
‘We have made this central to our approach, ensuring we support and protect people while prioritising their mental health and well-being.
‘This is the first time we have published an adult social care plan. It has been produced with input from across all partners and I’m pleased to say that it has the support of our colleagues at COSLA.
‘It sets out what support will be available for people who receive social care and those who provide that care this winter, as well as addressing the impacts COVID-19 has had on them and their families.
‘The new measures we are putting in place have been informed by the lessons we have learned so far, and the evidence paper published today outlines why these measures are necessary for winter.
‘We will continue to take firm action to protect those who receive or provide social care, and adapt our guidance based on the latest scientific evidence and clinical advice.”
Cllr Stuart Currie, COSLA’s Health and Social Care Spokesperson, said: ‘The social care sector and Scotland’s social care workers have faced enormous challenges during the COVID-19 response, and the Adult Social Care Plan will enable them to continue to provide valuable help and support to those in the community that need it most.
‘The pandemic has had a drastic impact on those that require support both at home and in residential settings, and the funding announced by the Scottish Government as part of the plan will go some way to addressing that.
‘COSLA will continue to work with Scottish Government and partners across the sector to ensure that they receive the support they need to continue this vital work.’
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