Coronavirus contingency plans needed for those who depend on carers
There is “an urgent need for clear, accessible advice” on coronavirus for people living with long-term conditions and disabled people, including contingency plans for those who depend on carers, a leading Scottish health and social care organisation says.
The Health and Social Care Alliance Scotland said disabled people and those with long-term conditions “are expressing anxiety that no contingency planning arrangements seem to be in place for circumstances in which their carers are unable to provide care for them due to self-isolation”.
“There is an urgent need for clear, accessible advice to be produced and issued to anyone using health and social care support on what to do in the event of a carer (paid or unpaid) being unable to provide care,” Alliance chief executive Ian Welsh said.
“We welcome commitments from the Scottish Government that further advice will be made available to people with long term conditions in the coming days.
“Those people who are most at risk should be prioritised, and their needs assessed with contingency planning arrangements made public, clearly and in accessible formats.”
Welsh said the organisation was also concerned about “discriminatory attitudes” towards older people and people living with long-term conditions on social media and certain media outlets.
“No one is expendable, and they should be reassured that they are at the forefront of infection planning in the days and weeks ahead,” he said.
“The public also needs to be alert to the need to take simple steps to ensure disabled people are not excluded from everyday life, for example writing things down when using a facemask for the benefit of people who lip-read.
“We recognise that the ever-changing environment in relation to COVID-19 creates many challenges for NHS Scotland, health boards, health and social care partnerships and others.
"However, the Alliance encourages national and local services and support providers to engage with people with long term conditions, disabled people and unpaid carers in making their future planning.”
The Scottish Government is due to hold a press briefing this afternoon, after taking part in the UK Government’s COBR meeting.