ELDERLY people in East Renfrewshire are waiting longer than average to receive the social care they need, new figures have revealed.

A report by Age Scotland shows that, last year, people in the area were waiting almost four weeks to get an assessment after requesting one.

East Renfrewshire was one of nine local authority areas in Scotland where people were waiting longer than the average of three weeks to receive an assessment to determine their social care needs.

Research also found more than four in 10 older people requiring “substantial” or critical care last year waited more than the six weeks set down in national guidelines.

Previous research conducted by Age Scotland found that, in 2015, the average waiting time was two-and-a-half weeks.

In a report titled ‘Waiting for Care: Is Scotland meeting its commitment to older people?’, the charity stressed urgent action is needed to improve the situation across the country.

Age Scotland chief executive Brian Sloan said: “While many people do receive social care within the timeframe outlined in national guidelines, more than four in 10 wait much longer.

“In one circumstance last year the wait was more than eight months. This is too high and action must be taken to urgently improve the situation.

“It is a stressful time for family members and the individuals concerned, where a lack of information about timescales or long waits to get the help they need have a significant impact on the life of the older person.”

A spokesman for East Renfrewshire Council defended the efforts being made to keep waiting times to a minimum.

He said: “As part of our drive to improve the service provided to our residents, we have redesigned our services to ensure experienced social work staff now deal with all people who call us seeking support. This allows us to respond to the most urgent situations immediately. For less urgent cases, people are offered the opportunity to attend a Talking Points event, or are passed to our Locality Teams to carry out more in-depth support planning.

“Our Locality Teams in Barrhead and Eastwood are working to make contact with people who are currently waiting.”

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