‘Dire situation’ over waiting times for essential mobility equipment

Moray MP and Tory leader Douglas Ross said waiting times for equipment were 'completely unacceptable'.

‘Dire situation’ over waiting times for essential mobility equipment iStock

Concerns have been raised over the time people are waiting for essential equipment to help with their mobility problems.

Moray MP Douglas Ross says he is receiving a growing number of complaints from constituents about the service run by Health and Social Care Moray.

Complaints include one from a military veteran who has been waiting over a year for a walk-in shower to be installed.

Because of an increase in referrals over the last year and a half, the occupational therapy team is concentrating on dealing with requests for people who are terminally ill, receiving end of life care and where the client or their carer are at a high risk of injury.

However, no shower assessments are being carried out at the moment.

There are plans to recruit another person to help relieve the backlog, but they are not expected to be in post until next year.

Ross said: “This is completely unacceptable and I am receiving more and more complaints like this.

“I understand there could be hundreds of Moray residents in a similar position.

“This is a dire situation and I have to question how it has been allowed to develop to this unacceptable level.

“It feels like this issue is not being treated with the urgency it deserves and I hope all the relevant authorities will look at the situation here in Moray and bring forward measures to reduce these excessive waiting times.”

A spokeswoman for Health and Social Care Moray said all referrals were screened and prioritised according to risk, and a waiting list was in operation.

They added: “Referral rates and the numbers of critical referrals have greatly increased over the last 18 months.

“The occupational therapy team are prioritising ‘end of life’ and ‘high risk’ situations resulting in the occupational therapy team being unable to address requests for shower assessments at this time.

“To address the current situation the occupational therapy team have an improvement plan in place and have secured funding for an extra member of staff to exclusively focus on assessments for showers.

“It is anticipated that this person will be in post by January 2022.”

Reporting by Local Democracy Reporter Hazel Lawson

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