We are dealing with an unprecedented situation which is affecting the whole of Scotland and the UK.

The impact of the prolonged Covid outbreak has had a very serious impact on staffing levels in a wide range of health and social care services across Scotland, and East Lothian is no exception.

East Lothian Health and Social Care Partnership (ELHSCP) is working closely with  care-at-home and care home providers to ensure that people with the greatest need, and at the greatest risk, continue to receive essential care services.

In East Lothian, the number of front-line care staff in care-at-home services and care homes is severely reduced due to illness, isolation and staff leaving the care sector to work elsewhere.  On average, there is a 25% absence rate amongst front-line staff across all providers in East Lothian, and this can range from 10 - 43%, and more, at any time. 

ELHSCP is undertaking an urgent review and risk assessment of all individuals who receive care at home support and have established ‘Crisis Response Teams’.  These teams are made up of health and social care staff working with all our care providers to ensure the most efficient delivery of care-at-home services across East Lothian and to ensure that providers can target their very limited staff resource where it is most needed.

ELHSCP are working with Carers of East Lothian to support carers through this time.  Volunteer Centre East Lothian are recruiting more volunteers to help support people in their local communities.

East Lothian Health and Social Care Partnership Chief Officer Alison Macdonald said:

"Please be assured that ELHSCP is working closely with our provider partners to prioritise care-at-home services to the people most in need. We are aware that this current situation puts significant pressure and stress on families and friends who may be asked to provide more support.

"We are working closely with other Health and Social Care Partnerships, the NHS, the Care Inspectorate and Scottish Government to do all we can to resolve the current staff shortages and resume the care at home service to its usual efficiency."

Published: Tuesday, 21st December 2021