Home care statistics reveal mixed results

Home care services are received by less people in Scotland, new
statistics show, but the level of service for those who receive it
has improved.

A report from the Scottish executive, covers services provided
or purchased by local authorities in 1998/99 compared with 1999/00.
It shows that while the total number of people receiving a service
was 70,229, a decrease of 5.2 per cent, the total number of hours
the service was delivered, had increased by 4.8 per cent.

Other features emerging from the Home Care Services Scotland
Statistics include: 84 per cent of home care recipients are aged
over 65 years; 76 per cent of recipients have physical
disabilities; only 15 per cent receive more than 10 hours of care
each week, and 72 per cent receive a service on weekdays only.

The statistical report was announced on the same day that the
executive sent instructions to councils on the provision of free
home care to older people being discharged from hospital. The
initiative was part of a £100 million package of care for
older people announced by Susan Deacon, health minister, in
response to the Royal Commission on Long Term Care for the Elderly,
in October 2000.

The Regulation of Care Bill, currently being considered by the
Scottish parliament, will introduce national regulation of the home
care service for the first time.



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