Thousands of care home places have been lost in Scotland since the turn of the century, parliamentary figures reveal.
Ministers have come under attack after data revealed that the number of registered care home places have fallen by 3,685 to 42,026 last year, The Scotsman reports.
Conservative public health spokesman Miles Briggs said: “There are fewer places in council facilities, NHS facilities, private facilities and voluntary facilities.
“And all this is happening while our population is ageing and increasing. This cannot continue – we need to see an increase in the number of places available. It’s no wonder bed-blocking is such a problem while care home places remain limited.
“I appreciate it’s not entirely down to the Scottish Government to sort this problem out, but it must shoulder some responsibility.
“The SNP has been in charge for nearly a decade, and through that has been repeatedly warned about the need for planning for an ageing population. Clearly that hasn’t happened, and vulnerable people are paying the price.”
A Scottish Government spokesman defended the SNP’s record commenting: “Policies are enabling more people to live longer and more independently in their own homes, which results in fewer people needing residential care.
“We are providing more than £0.5 billion additional funding over three years to help Health and Social Care Partnerships establish new ways of working, and investing a further £250 million per year to protect and grow social care services.”