Government urged to review 'on the cheap' elderly home care

image captionThe head of Scottish Care claims many people are being looked after at home 'on the cheap'.

A government taskforce should review the support Scotland's pensioners receive at home, it is being claimed.

The head of Scottish Care, which represents care firms and charities, says many elderly people are receiving "care on the cheap".

Ranald Mair will tell a conference in Glasgow that 15-minute home visits "deprive people of their dignity and put unfair pressure on staff".

The Scottish government said it was committed to providing quality care.

Health Secretary Alex Neil will attend a conference on Friday at which Scottish Care will call for improvements to the quality and quantity of care.

Mr Mair, the organisation's chief executive, will tell more than 250 delegates: "Older people in Scotland deserve the best care we can offer.

"Not the least we can get away with or care on the cheap.

"We need to move away from 15-minute visits and we need to reward staff for the important work they do.

"Otherwise, we won't be able to recruit the staff we want to look after Scotland's older or vulnerable people."

Economic constraints

He will say Scotland has excellent staff and service providers but economic constraints are stopping them doing their job to the best of their ability.

"That means our elderly are being deprived of their dignity while unfair pressure is being put on staff."

In his speech he will claim care often lacks continuity with different staff allocated on a daily basis.

He will argue for a taskforce to look at homecare, following a similar review of residential care.

The number of people over the age of 75 living in Scotland is projected to rise by 86 per cent in the next 25 years.

Mr Mair will add: "Without proper funding, existing problems with staff recruitment and retention - which are already at crisis point in some areas - will worsen."

A government spokeswoman said: "Older people in Scotland deserve the best possible care, whether in a care home or in the community.

"The government wants to ensure that all older people receive quality and compassionate care that protects their dignity."

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