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Social Care in Hospitals – Letter from the Cabinet Secretary (7th Nov 2020)

Cabinet Secretary for Health and Sport issues letter supporting social care support in hospitals

The letter highlights the need to ensure that people who receive support in the community and in their own home, are able to continue to receive the support they need when they are admitted to hospital. The letter sates:

We recognise that those who require social care support for day to day living will continue to need that support by  people who understand their needs when they are in hospital. This support should continue whether they are in the community or in hospital

It is the Scottish Government’s expectation, with the integration of health and social care, that both access and funding will not be a barrier to someone receiving social care support from their paid or unpaid carers in hospital

This is an important statement to recognise the need for support that people have and that funding considerations should not become a barrier to people receiving the support they need. The letter also highlights the role and importance of carers and states:

. . . you will want to remember that carers are not to be counted as “visitors” whether they are paid carers or unpaid carers. Those who are providing care to a supported person should be supported to continue providing care if that person is admitted to hospital. This includes paid and unpaid carers as they are both essential to safe effective care.

There is an expectation that people who need support should not experience any difficulties with receiving the support that they need when being admitted to hospital and states:

The level of person centred social care provided to an individual should remain consistent regardless of whether they are in the community or in hospital

This is about the continuation of social care provision in the community being received in hospital, not the introduction of new social care for patients

Additionally there is a duty to involve unpaid carers when the person they care for is being discharged from hospital

It is a legal requirement to make reasonable adjustments for people with disabilities

You can see a copy of the letter here:

Letter Cabinet Secretary Social Care in Hospital (17-11-2020)