Health and Social Care Moray has overspent £1.65m on its older persons and physical sensory disability budget.
At a meeting of the Moray Integration Joint Board last Thursday, members were told the main reasons behind the spend include an increase in the number of home care clients with complex needs, sheltered housing costs and respite care.
Head of service Sean Cody said: “Care at home packages are becoming more expensive. Although the number of packages are not increasing, the cost are increasing.
“We are finding there are more people requiring that rising level of care at home than we’ve had before.
“We’ve had to provide more respite and people have had to stay in this longer because we’ve not been able to provide a service to get them home.”
Mr Cody added the problem was not one unique to Moray but one that was being experienced across the country.
Senior management within Health and Social Care Moray and Dr Gray’s Hospital have put forward measures to address the issue.
This includes a move towards a Hospital Without Walls policy, focusing on a holistic approach to reduce and reshape demand on health and care services, reduce overcrowding in the hospital’s accident and emergency department, improve the way people are discharged from hospital, and enhance the resilience and responsiveness of those working in the care sector.
This year the average number of patients attending the accident and emergency department at Dr Gray’s Hospital in Elgin has jumped from around 40 a day in February to more than 70 in July.
The reason is partly because people who have delayed getting treatment during the pandemic have presented with more acute illness.
Overspend on the older persons and physical sensory disability budget includes £1.51m for care at home, £240,000 in permanent care and £80,000 for respite care.
There is an underspend of £190,000 on the costs of day care services.
By local democracy reporter Hazel Lawson