Support reduced or stopped for homecare users during pandemic

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More than half of people receiving homecare had their support either reduced or stopped completely during the pandemic.

A survey of both carers and care users by the Scottish parliament’s health and sport committee found one respondent reported having their support stopped for more than six months. Reduction in care was a common theme from respondents with families feeling they were ‘left to get on with it’.

The survey, which ran from 10 August to 7 September, received 723 responses.

Respondents were worried about services shutting down again and called for the continuity of care and packages to remain in place in the event of future outbreaks.

They also said it was vital to have access to appropriate PPE and frequent testing, and called for more support, financial help, and ‘professionalisation’ of the care system.

Lewis Macdonald MSP

Committee convener Lewis Macdonald MSP said: ‘These findings are deeply concerning suggesting over 50% of those receiving care at home saw their care reduced or stopped completely during the pandemic.

‘Other concerns raised around mental health, safety, and the prospect of care shutting down again, make it clear that things must improve.

‘The committee recognises the hard work of carers, paid and unpaid, who have gone above and beyond during this unprecedented challenge and we also want to thank all those who took part in the survey for sharing their experiences in what are still very difficult times.’