UNISON, the trade union for health and social care, has launched a campaign with care staff to save council run care homes in Edinburgh. The campaign follows proposals put forward by Edinburgh Integrated Joint Board to close Clovenstone, Ferrylee, Ford’s Road and Jewel House care homes. Furthermore, Drumbrae will also close as a care home and switch to hospital-based complex clinical care.
The proposals mean large scale disruption for care residents and 270 care home posts will be deleted and a further 160 care home jobs put at risk. Care staff are the process of writing to Edinburgh City Council leader councillor Adam McVey as part of UNISON’s on-going campaign to step in and save these council run care homes.
UNISON are also running an online petition to show councillors the depth of feelings of residents, staff and those in the wider community. Over 100 people signed the petition in one day. Further campaign action and demonstrations are planned.
Tom Connolly UNISON Edinburgh City branch secretary said: “Closing four care homes, and changing the role of another, without proper and meaningful consultation is wrong. It is devastating for the residents. Its also insensitive to staff who have put the health and wellbeing of care residents before themselves and their families, throughout this pandemic. Caring for our vulnerable elderly is a vital job, care homes are essential and care staff deserve support from all of us.”
Greig Kelbie, UNISON regional organiser, said: “We need the support of the Scottish government to start planning and financing the next generation of modern fit-for-purpose care homes. Edinburgh councillors should stand up for council run care homes. Making these decisions without a fully-costed plan on how community care and care at home would be an adequate replacement is a dangerous precedent to set.
Scotland’s care system already relies too heavily on for-profit care homes. Edinburgh can buck that trend by supporting council-run care homes that focus on providing quality care not making money. I urge everyone to back UNISON’s campaign to Save Our Care Homes, and sign and leave a message on our online petition.”
UNISON is the trade union representing social care, health and local government staff. We are the biggest trade union in Scotland and the UK.
Copy of letter being sent to Edinburgh City Council leader councillor Adam McVey
UNISON’s online petition Edinburgh City Save Our Care Homes is here: Save Our Care Homes | Megaphone UK
Comments on why people have signed the online petition include:
• “Our elderly should be looked after not thrown aside where are they going to put the residents”. Tracey M.
• “My mother receives care in an Edinburgh council care home. The place and staff as fantastic. I know the confusion that is caused by moving long term residents.” Stewart D.
• “Need council run care homes not everyone can afford private care”. Sharon
Greg Kelbie, regional organiser: 07415 709 746
Danny Phillips, communications officer: 07944 664 110