The chaos engulfing our care service has left people across Dumbarton, the Vale of Leven, Helensburgh and Lomond ‘stuck in limbo,’ as dozens of people in the Dumbarton constituency are waiting for an assessment to receive care services.

The latest figures, those for the week ending July 3 show there were 288 people in West Dunbartonshire waiting in the community for a social care assessment and another 82 in the same situation in Argyll and Bute.

The rate in West Dunbartonshire, when calculated per 1000 people aged 18 and over is far higher than the Scottish average. The Scottish average is 1.4 per 1000 while the West Dunbartonshire rate is 4.08.

Although the West Dunbartonshire figures are not broken down any further, in Argyll and Bute 56 people had been assessed but were waiting for a care at home package to be put in place.

Across Scotland over 10,000 patients are stuck waiting to receive care.

These jaw-dropping figures come after months of chaos and delay from the SNP on their botched National Care Service bill, which has now been delayed for a third time until 2024.

And two years on from the SNP announcing the scrapping of non-residential care charges, no progress has been made.

Jackie Baillie, who is Scottish Labour’s health spokesperson has repeatedly called on the government to focus on the immediate challenge of the staffing crisis in social care.

She said: “These shocking figures are a true indictment of the SNP’s plans to rejuvenate the care sector and show how superficial the level of engagement with the sector has been.

“While the SNP wasted months investing in a poorly planned National Care Service and ignoring the many valid criticisms of their plans, the social care sector continued to suffer from underinvestment and workforce shortages.

“Hundreds of people in my constituency alone and thousands across Scotland have been left stuck in limbo by a party that would rather invest in its own PR than in social care services and its staff.

“We are now months down the line and plans for the service have been left in tatters, while hardworking staff continue to struggle with the increased demand they are facing.

“The time has now come for the SNP to put aside their constitutional obsession and focus instead on delivering the change that the social care sector really needs.”

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