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The Social Care Crisis in Edinburgh Public Meeting – Tuesday 6th December 2022

Edinburgh council must keep care homes in public hands, says UNISON 
UNISON, the largest union in Edinburgh City Council, is demanding that Edinburgh Council oppose the introduction of more privately run residential care homes and keep social care in the public’s hands. The union claims that profit has no place in care and that publicly run care services are better for both services users and staff.

The call to keep social care in public hands will be made at a public meeting tonight (Tuesday) of the Edinburgh TUC and UNISON’s Save Our Care Homes campaign, speakers will call on Edinburgh public to join their campaign to demand: fair work for carers, MSPs and councillors fight to keep Edinburgh care homes in local authority control and not farm out services to private companies.

The campaign has already succeeded in keeping Clovenstone, Ferrylee, Fords Road and Jewel House care homes open and in public hands.

David Harrold, UNISON’S service conditions convenor, said: “The Scottish Government and Edinburgh City Council need to listen to the people of Edinburgh who believe that care homes should be run for public good not private profit.

The Scottish Government’s National Care Service Bill will put profiteering at the heart of social care and the Edinburgh Integrated Joint Board Bed Based Review will also bring more cuts in social care and does nothing to expand public provision. These reforms will be a disaster for social care services in Edinburgh. We already have a 60-bed unit left empty for over a year with costs to the taxpayer as high as £3million.

We need urgent intervention to fix the Edinburgh Care crisis. This includes urgent reform to get more carers into the workforce. Integration forums can come up with all the strategies around developing new workstyles to support more flexible and inclusive working they want, the reality is there is no incentive for people to join or remain in the care sector.

We need more money in the pockets of workers in tandem with focused recruitment campaigns targeted at areas of greatest workforce pressures, including the proper care facilities for the people that need them.”

Tom Connolly, UNISON Edinbugh branch secretary, said: “Vulnerable and older people in Edinburgh’s deserve better and that’s why UNISON’s Save Our Care Homes is continuing to campaign for council run care homes so future generations can benefit from these high-quality services. We are asking more members of the public to support UNISON’s campaign to support Edinburgh’s council run care homes and oppose the encroachment of privately run profit-based residential. Publicly run care is better for residents and staff. Join our campaign and put pressure on both the Scottish government and Edinburgh City Council to keep social care in public hands..”

UNISON is the union for social care workers. They also represent workers in the NHS, local government, police staff, education, energy and utilities, and community organisations.
UNISON’s Save Our Care Homes campaign has secured pledges from most political parties that they would upgrade care homes to meet up to date standards and build additional care homes if needed.
UNISON is asking members of the public to send an automated and letter to their MSP’s: