Councillor Tim Brett, a member of the Fife Health and Social Care Partnership, has welcomed the improvement in the position of delayed discharges for Ninewells Hospital patients who live in North East Fife.
Councillor Brett, who represents the Tay Bridgehead Ward, said, ‘I have recently received an update from our local head of services for older people that shows there has been significant improvement over the last six months with fewer patients being delayed. This has been as a result of working more closely with senior medical staff at Ninewells Hospital and Medical School to ensure that early action is taken to identify appropriate strategies for people admitted to Ninewells but whose homes are in North East Fife.
Once an individual is no longer requiring medical attention then every effort is made to get them home, with support if that is needed. I know that a lot of hard work has gone on to achieve this and, following the particular problems last year where a Tayport resident was delayed at Ninewells for many weeks, this is good news.’
The Liberal Democrat group leader added that he knew that the pressure on older people's social work services was increasing every month, with many more very elderly frail patients being referred for support from the social work service.
He continued, ‘This will undoubtedly further increase pressure on both health and social care services, which means that it is imperative that under the proposed integrated health and social care arrangements, new ways of supporting people in their own homes are developed quickly. I am aware from my role on the Health and Social Care Partnership Board that a number of initiatives are currently being explored which I welcome but it will undoubtedly be challenging to continue to meet the needs of older people.’