Responding to the news that Dumfries and Galloway Health and Social Care Partnership have escalated their Covid surge plan, South Scotland MSP Colin Smyth said, “Health and social care services in the region are very precarious and there will be concern over what the need for this move means for those needing care. The NHS and Social Care partnership can’t sugar coat this and have to be completely open over what impact this will have on care. There are already over 100 vacancies for social carers in the region alone, meaning over 3,500 care hours per week are currently not being delivered. Local families will understandably be wondering just how extra care in the community will be delivered when more people are moved out of hospital, when current care demands aren’t being fully met. Let’s not kid ourselves that if there was enough care support available, more people would have been moved out of hospital by now. The NHS and Social care partnership will need to handle any further early discharge of patients from hospital very carefully, or we will simply see a rise in readmissions if people don’t get the care they need at home.”

“The move highlights to us all just how important it is that we all do what we can to support our under pressure NHS and care workers and try to take the pressure off them. That means making sure we are fully vaccinated, taking COVID tests on a regular basis and using common sense when mixing with others especially as more people return to work after the festive period.”

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