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Coronavirus / No answer yet on opening of adult day care services

The Eric Gray Resource Centre Photo: SIC

FIRST minister Nicola Sturgeon has given a commitment to investigate why the reopening of adult day care and respite services appear to have stalled despite government assurances that they should be able to resume.

The issue was raised in the Scottish Parliament by local MSP Beatrice Wishart on Thursday afternoon.

Shetland Islands Council has said they are also looking forward to receiving “clearer guidance” on the reopening of adult day care and other vital services.

Shetland MSP Beatrice Wishart. Photo: Shetland News

Wishart was speaking in parliament after first minister Nicola Sturgeon had announced that schools were expected to re-open again as of 11 August and that shielding for 180,000 people in Scotland was to be paused.

Wishart said that after months of bearing the full burden of care for adults with complex needs families were still not able to access the support they need.

She said there was a clear feeling among service users of being left behind.

Sturgeon acknowledged that the impact of Covid-19 had been more difficult for people with complex needs than for others.

She said rather than responding to her during question time she wanted to get the issue addressed so that the services could resume as soon as possible.

Wishart said: “I am glad that the first minister is now going to give this issue the attention it needs, so that services can get up and running as soon as is safely possible.

“The past few months have been intense and challenging for many of these families. Even the most simple tasks, like taking a shower, can become impossible without respite.

“Families have done what they can to manage complex situations because the pandemic demanded it. But now that communities are beginning to re-open, they need a break.”

A council spokesperson said: “We are in contact with all affected families and carers to provide support wherever possible, and look forward to receiving clearer guidance from the Scottish Government on how and when full adult day care services can resume.”

Earlier this month the lack of guidance over the resumption of services for adults with learning disabilities and autism was raised by the chair of Shetland’s integration joint board councillor Emma Macdonald.