Health bosses could push ahead with cost-saving measures to prioritise the most vulnerable patients in an effort to “maximise resources”.
Under the plans some people deemed less at risk could wait more than a month to be seen by Dundee’s social care department.
In a report presented to a meeting of the Dundee Health and Social Care Partnership’s integration joint board yesterday afternoon, the head of Heath and Community Care, Diane McCulloch, outlined plans to focus on the needs of those most vulnerable in the community.
She said: “There are five levels of care needs ranging from critical to no risk.
“In order to ensure that resources are used effectively to meet the needs of those most in need, it is proposed that the partnership prioritises its available resources to support individuals who present with the following levels of risk.”
>> Keep up to date with the latest news with Evening Telegraph newsletter
The new plans will give priority to members of the community who fall into the top two categories of “critical” and “substantial”.
It is anticipated that, under the new guidelines, those in the highest band will be provided with care within seven days of an initial appointment. Those who fall into the least critical band will have to wait up to six weeks.
Diane said: “There is a focus on supporting those who are older or have disabilities to maintain as much ability and independence for as long as possible and continue to live in their own home.
“The overall financial context for public services has meant that the ability to continue to grow the service at the same rate will no longer be possible.
“The partnership will be required to take a more targeted approach to ensure that we make best use of the resources available”
Adult social care services in the city aim to enable those who have care needs to live as independently as they can.
Diane added: “We want to maximise people’s income so we aim to have them living as independently as possible.”