MSP writes to council over community alarm concerns

Liam Kerr - Conservative - North East
May 2016. Pic - Andrew Cowan/Scottish Parliament

Liam Kerr - Conservative - North East May 2016. Pic - Andrew Cowan/Scottish Parliament

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A North East MSP has written to social care bosses in Angus to express concern over proposed changes to the delivery of the local community alarm service.

Scottish Conservative Liam Kerr has been contacted by a number of constituents who are worried about the impact of a planned reduction from two members of staff per shift to one.

Mr Kerr has written to the Angus Social Care Partnership, which includes representatives from Angus Council and NHS Tayside, to voice his concern.

In his letter, he said: “My constituents are most concerned by the announced plans to reduce the two-person locality shift to one social care officer at a time.

“I am of the understanding that the service deals with hundreds of calls per month and that, according to staff, the majority of those calls require two people to attend.

“One of my constituents describes how they have had to use the service on several occasions when a frail or elderly relative has suffered a fall.

“It is simply unacceptable to expect one person to lift an individual that has fallen – especially if they are frail and vulnerable.

“They would need to wait for another crew member to be called to the scene which could take a considerable length of time, especially if the second staff member was attending another incident.

“I am aware that the funding settlement from the Scottish Government to local authorities (particularly to our North East councils) is forcing authorities to make hard choices and resulting in cuts having to be made across the board.

“However, I would strongly urge the Angus Social Care Partnership to think long and hard before making cuts to this vital service.”