A BACKLOG of nearly 100 people in North Ayrshire are currently waiting for universal free personal care it has emerged last week.

There are currently 98 over-65-year olds who are on a pending list to receive funding, a formal assessment or a place in a care home.

West of Scotland MSP Jamie Greene says this follows several constituent complaints concerning their inability to access free universal free personal care.

He raised this issue with Nicola Sturgeon during the April 4 session of First Minister’s Question Time.

In their letter North Ayrshire Council stated: “There are currently 98 individuals on the pending funding lists. The pending funding lists comprise of individuals:

(i) who are in hospital awaiting an element of funding;

(ii) individuals who have self-admitted to a care home and then requested an assessment of need and subsequently require some degree of funding;

(iii) individuals who have been placed in care homes on an emergency basis and are not able to return to the community due to safety risks and now require to be funded and

(iv) individuals who are living at home and have had an assessment carried out and a care home has been identified as required to meet their longer-term care needs.”

“Unfortunately, due to current demand and budgetary pressures, there is a waiting list for funding in relation to Residential and Nursing care.”

Jamie Greene MSP said: “Clearly there are issues around funding which has meant this policy is not being delivered in full. There is an expectation in the public that the Scottish Government delivers on its flagship policy or puts forward an alternative arrangement.

“Maintaining a policy that is not being delivered is not acceptable.”

Conservative Cllr Tom Marshall said: “We are all aware that we have an ageing population, yet government funding does not seem to have made proper projections for the level of demand. A proper care policy needs real forward planning of demand and consideration of the impact on public finances.”

A spokesperson for North Ayrshire Health and Social Care Partnership said “These figures don’t provide appropriate context and therefore don’t reflect the work being carried out across North Ayrshire.

“While there are 98 people awaiting free personal care, 39 of those individuals are in emergency respite situations and at this stage are unable to return home. These individuals continue to benefit from free personal care whilst their funding for a permanent placement is awaited.

“In addition, for those individuals assessed as requiring permanent care but living at home whilst awaiting funding, they have a range of different services being delivered to support them such as home provision, telecare incorporating community alarm and respite at Anam Cara and other care home establishments. Therefore those individuals are in receipt of personal care.

“In relation to the other two main categories - 13 of those individuals who have chosen to self-fund are now waiting on funding for their placements and 35 individuals are in hospital awaiting the allocation of funding.

“It is important to remember that we have approximately 6000 people across North Ayrshire receiving free personal care. Given finite resources, we inevitably run with some waiting lists but do so as effectively as possible.”