Cutbacks to care at home packages in Fife are hitting the most vulnerable and making them feel like a burden.”
As Fife’s social care crisis deepens, Guardbridge man David Park said it feel like “nobody cares.”
Mr Park has left-side paralysis, relies on his wheelchair and is housebound because of a stroke.
He recently had his care at home visits reduced and spoke out again this week following news many others in the Kingdom will be affected by disruption to services.
Fife Council admits there may be times when no carers are available to visit people who rely on Care at Home packages.
They say they’ve had to change to cope with the “challenging situation” and letters have been sent to those affected.
‘Pandemic is just an excuse’
After having his service reduced, Mr Park sympathised with how others will be feeling, saying: “I think it’s disgusting, there will be folk out there who don’t know what to do.
“I’m fed up of this excuse of the pandemic and it’s the money.
It makes you feel as if they don’t want anything to do with you – that you’re a burden.
“They should try sitting in this wheelchair all day. It makes you feel as if they don’t want anything to do with you, like you’re a burden.
“Someone needs to be held accountable. There will be worried people thinking, what’s going to happen tonight, what’s going to happen tomorrow?
“Nobody is prepared to give them a proper answer.”
What will change for current patients?
In a letter sent out last week, Cindy Graham, Service Manager, says many Fifers face a reduced service.
Some people may not receive care, or may not receive it from their usual carer or one who was expected.
Ms Graham says priority must be given to those living alone with little or no access to alternatives. She blames increased hospital admissions, increased number of people needing care packages when leaving hospital and staffing pressures.
Lynne Garvey, Head of Community Care Service, Fife Health & Social Care Partnership says Covid-19 continues to impact.
But, she stresses ensuring the most vulnerable have the care they need is a priority.
“It may not always be possible for visits to be carried out by usual carers and the timings of visits may vary. We apologise, and appreciate the support and patience from those receiving care at home services.”
There’s a recruitment drive in place and work with other organisations and private providers to meet the care needs, she adds.
Fife MSP Alex Rowley is calling on council Chief Executive Steve Grimmond for full transparency of the scale of the issue.
He said cutbacks are not the answer, adding: “As well as frightening current service users with these letters, the failure to meet the demand for care services will have a knock-on impact.
“We are heading into winter, it would seem, with health and social care services in crisis.
“And no visible plan to address these issues other than to cut the service to those who already receive it.”