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Coronavirus / Adults receiving care and support should ‘not be forgotten’ during pandemic

THE CHAIR of Shetland’s health and social care partnership said “people cannot be forgotten” as she expressed concern over the lack of lockdown guidance from government for care of adults with learning disabilities and autism.

Councillor Emma Macdonald said the Scottish Government has failed to include these services in its route map of exiting lockdown.

Integration joint board chair Emma Macdonald. Photo: Chris Cope/Shetland News

The matter was raised at a meeting of the local health and social care partnership integration joint board on Thursday.

“I think the Scottish Government need to remember there’s people sitting at home that need to know when they are going to get support,” Macdonald told members.

Services for adults with learning disabilities, autistic spectrum disorders and complex needs at Eric Gray @ Seafield and Newcraigielea Day Care closed to ordinary bookings in March in response to the pandemic.

Adult services manager Clare Scott told Thursday’s meeting that staff had been redeployed to other care settings.

Writing on Facebook after the meeting Macdonald said: “We are currently unable to provide the normal level of support to these families and this is a huge concern.

“The Scottish Government have failed to include these services in the route map and therefore families have no idea when they may see some change.

“The meeting was reassured that the staff are doing everything they can to provide support to families as best they can but we must have some information from the Scottish Government soon that addresses these issues. People can not be forgotten.”

Community care resources manager Jaine Best, meanwhile, said she had no indication as to when day care services would reopen.

The integration joint board approved a number of directions to NHS Shetland and Shetland Islands Council at the meeting across the following services for 2020/21: adult services, adult social work, community care resources, criminal justice, health improvement, primary care and oral health.

Directions set out “clear descriptions of each specific service the IJB is commissioning from its delivery partners”.

The directions, where appropriate, include improvement plans which will be monitored throughout the year by the IJB.

The meeting heard updates from managers of the various services, with Macdonald saying there was a “huge, huge amount of work” on show.

“I just think these directions are such a good piece of work,” she said. “There’s just so many positive things in there and opportunities.”

Adult services manager Clare Scott, meanwhile, said after the meeting that the usual building based day support and respite services at Eric Gray @ Seafield and Newcraigielea remained closed.

“Staff continue to provide adapted support for people who usually use these services and family carers, and await information and guidance from Scottish Government on the next steps in the wider reopening of day support and respite services,” she said.