A “hospital to home” service is badly needed in the isles to help ensure people with chest, heart or stroke conditions are properly cared for – and protect the NHS.
Charity Chest Heart and Stroke Scotland has highlighted a nationwide roll-out of the service – which aims to help people stay healthy, happy and safe in their own homes.
The service is said to help free up the NHS by providing a support programme built around people’s needs.
But while the charity has a community support group in the isles, no other hospital to home services are available.
It says the coronavirus pandemic has had a devastating impact on those struggling with chest, heart or stroke conditions – something which is having a long-term effect on an already stretched NHS.
Charity chief executive Jane-Claire Judson said: “The pandemic is having a devastating impact on some of Scotland’s most vulnerable people. Without further action, we will see a damaging domino effect on our society and our NHS for years to come.
“People living with chest, heart and stroke conditions were often struggling before the pandemic. Now that’s been magnified and we’re hearing from people who feel their recovery is going backwards.
“The NHS is also in full crisis management mode just now, we need to make sure that this situation doesn’t translate into a permanent state of crisis.
“Our hospital to home service is helping keep people well at home and reducing the likelihood that they will need to go back into hospital. It needs to be there for everyone who needs help.
“Going into the elections, we need a consensus from the parties to come together and make sure that services like ours are routinely embedded into NHS pathways across Scotland.
“We need to see this across all health boards to make sure that everyone in Scotland, not just the lucky few, can have access to the support they need to improve their wellbeing and to live their life to the full.”