The challenges faced by care providers across Scotland during the coronavirus pandemic have “further exposed” funding issues, according to a new report.
The Care Inspectorate investigated how care at home and housing support services have adapted to Covid-19, focusing on the first few months of the outbreak.
It found most health and social care partnerships and service providers worked well to deliver key services despite the impact of the pandemic, however it highlighted pre-existing funding issues.
Peter Macleod, chief executive of the Care Inspectorate, said: “We know there are ongoing challenges for care at home and housing support services that mean we need to continue to work together to drive improvement in this sector
“This report draws together the views of health and social care partnerships and service providers about their experience of care at home and housing support services during the first phase of this pandemic.
“It is intended that it helps to inform future planning and improvement in services, and ultimately to support people experiencing care to live life to the full.”
The report notes the “commitment” from care at home and housing support staff, despite the fears about their own health.
It found they worked hard and flexibly to ensure there was capacity to meet people’s needs and keep people safe.
However, the report warned: “The challenge of responding to Covid-19 further exposed the complexity of and weaknesses in funding for care at home and housing support services.
“Health and social care partnerships (HSCPs) and service providers were concerned about future funding for these critical services.
“Covid-19 had a significant impact on care at home and housing support services providing this support.
“At the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, there was widespread uncertainty and a lack of information and knowledge about the potential impact of the virus. There was also uncertainty about how best to protect people and how to contain the spread of the infection.
“Health and social care partnerships and service providers addressed the unknown and unprecedented experience of the pandemic and resulting restrictions in different ways.
“The evidence from this inquiry indicated that most partnerships and service providers worked well together during this time and with available information and resources, made every effort to act in the best interests of people in need of support.”