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SNP must clear up continuing care confusion

June 24, 2014 2:45 PM
Originally published by Scottish Liberal Democrats

Scottish Liberal Democrat health spokesperson Jim Hume MSP has calledJim Hume MSPJim Hume MSP on the Scottish Government to clear up confusion around NHS Continuing Care package after it was revealed that the number of people receiving the package has fallen by two-fifths in the last five years.

Mr Hume has previously raised concerns that the SNP Government's plans to limit NHS Continuing Care cover only to those with complex care needs who have to live in hospital would effectively chain people to a hospital bed who could be in a care home.

Mr Hume said:

"The Health Secretary must clear up the confusion over the NHS Continuing Care package. It is still unclear as to whether accommodation costs will only be covered for those who have to live in hospital to receive their care. This would be contrary to the SNP's commitment to move treatment out of hospitals where possible.

"With these figures showing a 40 percent reduction in the number of people receiving the package this rings alarm bells that people who previously did not have to pay for their accommodation costs are now being charged. This reduction is over and above the declining proportion of patients who have qualified for NHS Continuing Care in a care home setting.

"With an ageing population where people are living longer and for longer in periods of ill health the Scottish Government must supports patients and ensure our NHS can cope with growing demand. It does not seem that limiting this package to hospital treatment alone is the best way to do that."