The Scottish government is investing £300m to help what is anticipated to be the toughest winter its health and social care system has ever faced.
The measures include over £60m to maximise the capacity of care at home services and up to £48m to enable employers to raise the hourly pay rate of social care staff offering direct care to a minimum of £10.02 (matching new NHS band 2 staff).
Health Secretary Humza Yousaf said: “As the winter period approaches, it is vital that we do all we can to maximise the capacity of the NHS and social care system. We cannot look at the NHS in isolation we must take a whole systems approach and these measures will help alleviate pressure across the NHS and social care.
“This significant new investment will help get people the care they need as quickly as possible this winter. Bolstering the caring workforce by increasing their numbers, providing them with additional support, and increasing the wages of social care staff.
“We’ve previously provided funding to ensure that adult social care staff are paid at least the real living wage. Today we’re going further and our new investment will ensure that adult social care staff who are currently paid the real living wage will get a pay rise of over 5%.
“Measures I have announced today will help patients whose discharge has been delayed waiting for care and help get them out of hospital and on to the next stage in their care. This helps the individual by getting them the right care, and helps the wider system by ensuring the hospital capacity is being used by those who need that specialist level of clinical care.
“This £300 million of new funding will also fund increases in social care capacity in the community and in primary care – helping to ease the pressure on unpaid carers.
“Our NHS, social care staff and social work staff have been remarkable throughout the pandemic and today’s additional investment will help support them to deliver care to people across Scotland this winter.”