Scottish health secretary, Humza Yousaf, urged to save Edinburgh’s care homes, says UNISON

Press ReleaseUNISON’s City of Edinburgh branch are calling on Humza Yousaf, Scottish Cabinet Secretary for Health & Social Care, to ‘urgently intervene’ to save the city’s council care homes.

In a letter to the health secretary they say current proposals, put forward by Edinburgh Integrated Joint Board (IJB), “set a dangerous precedent not just for how we care for today’s generation of elderly people but for those who come in the future”.

thumbnail of Save Our Care Homes
Click on graphic for letter

Under the current IJB proposals, Clovenstone, Ferrylee, Ford’s Road and Jewel House Care Homes have been judged to be unsuitable and will be closed. A further care home, Drumbrae, would be removed from council control and no longer provide much needed resident-based care.

UNISON say that closing these four care homes and changing the role of another without proper and meaningful consultation with the trade unions, residents and their families is short -sighted.

Tom Conolly, Branch Secretary of UNISON City of Edinburgh Branch, said: “These proposals mean large-scale disruption for care residents and hundreds of jobs put at risk. It takes a special kind of person to do care work. Its hard physical and emotional work. And losing that kind of experience, in those numbers would be devastating.  Over the course of the Covid-19 pandemic, our members have put the health and wellbeing of residents before that of themselves and families. For that to go unnoticed and for them to be treated in this manner is a disgrace.

Greig Kelbie, UNISON regional organiser said: “UNISON welcomed the recommendations from the Independent Review of Adult Social Care in Scotland particularly a National Care Service and how the report reflected workforce issues. If we are to have a high quality, rights-based service, with universally-applied standards of fair work, the challenge now sits with the Scottish Government to deliver on the recommendations. How can this be done if Edinburgh care homes are to be closed without replacement, with the loss of experienced staff, and what remains being passed on to the private sector?”

Notes to editors

• UNISON is the trade union for care workers, it is the public services trade union and the largest trade union in Scotland and the UK.

• These proposals mean large-scale disruption for care residents and 270 care home posts deleted with a further 160 posts put at risk.

• UNISON campaign continues. Our Save our care homes – petition has received over 1600 signatures in less than a week.

• Under current Edinburgh IJB proposals, Clovenstone, Ferrylee, Ford’s Road and Jewel House Care Homes have been judged to be unsuitable and would be closed. A further care home, Drumbrae would be removed from council control and switch to hospital-based complex clinical care and no longer provide much needed resident based care. This will leave Scotland’s capital with only three local authority homes to deal with an ageing population.

Save Our Care Homes letter to Scottish health secretary.pdf