Changes are being introduced to the way Care at Home Services are delivered across the region, which will mean that the levels of support currently available will be severely restricted.
Julie White, Chief Officer for the Health and Social Care Partnership, said: “During this unprecedented period, as we manage the impact of COVID-19, it is vital that resources are directed to prioritise the needs of the most vulnerable people.”
Families and friends of people receiving Care at Home Services will be asked to provide as much care and support as they can safely do. This will allow social care staff to concentrate on responding to situations where there is no other alternative.
Graham Abrines, General Manager for Community Health and Social Care, said: “Support will continue to be provided to those needing personal care, but this will be at a minimum level to keep people safe. The impact of COVID-19 is already significantly affecting our social care staff. It has and will continue to impact on our capacity to provide services.”
Lessons learned from elsewhere in the world show that having as many hospital beds as possible available to support people affected by COVID-19 is a key factor in enabling the NHS to minimise the number of deaths from this virus.
Graham Abrines said: “It is essential that we are able to safely discharge people from hospital settings. To do this, we have to prioritise the use of all available social care resources. This means we need to reduce the level of care and support being provided, wherever it is safe to do so. These are difficult, but necessary, decisions.”
Where families and friends cannot assist, arrangements will be made for the delivery of required groceries, medicines, and hot meals. This will be undertaken by a range of partners and volunteers.
Lillian Cringles, Chief Social Work Officer for Dumfries and Galloway, said: “These are exceptional times. The steps we need to take are, in normal times, unthinkable. This will be challenging, and at times very difficult, for the staff who will be asked to implement these changes and for people who need the support.”
The Health and Social Care Partnership appreciate there may be anxiety regarding people’s welfare following the implementation of these measures. If you have concerns about a member of your family or community, please contact the Social Work Access Team on: 030 33333 001.