Dumfries and Galloway Health and Social Care Partnership yesterday announced they will be ‘severely’ restricting the level of support they can offer in a bid to free up staff during the coronavirus outbreak.
Chief officer Julie White 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.” And she called on families and friends of people receiving Care at Home Services to provide as much care and support as they can safely do, adding: “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, explained that support will continue to be provided to those needing personal care, but warned it will be at a minimum level. He said: “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.”
Meanwhile, work has been going on all week to free up hospital beds for those affected by the virus. Mr 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 Council, 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.”
Anyone with concerns about a member of their family or a friend, can contact the Social Work Access Team on: 030 33333 001.