Bield Housing and Care, announced yesterday (11 October) that they intend to close 12 care homes in Edinburgh, Falkirk, Glasgow, Borders, South Lanarkshire and West Lothian by summer 2018.
Some 160 elderly people, with dependent needs including 24 hour personal care and feeding assistance, will be evicted from the place they have called home for decades. Many are over 90 years old.
Furthermore, some two hundred of qualified registered care workers will made compulsorily redundant. A disaster for them and their families.
John Gallacher, UNISON Scottish Organiser, said: “First minister, Nicola Sturgeon must intervene and ask how Bield Housing’s management team got themselves into this position. This is a disaster for families across Scotland and it questions the role of government, integrated joint boards, NHS and local authorities. The task of making alternative arrangements will fall back on public authorities, the tax payer and individual families at a few months notice. This is at a time when demand for care services can only increase. As a charity, using public funds, Bield Housing must be held accountable.
First we need to protect the elderly residents and staff affected by this decision. UNISON will be doing everything we can to ensure that happens. We need urgent action by Scottish Government, COSLA and other agencies to save vital services and jobs.
In the long term we need to accept that such crucial services cannot be left to the market. We need to question whether the sector can deliver in the face of increasing demand and how local authorities, who have lost over 30,000 jobs and taken the brunt of austerity cuts, can possibly cope over the long term. Putting so many families at risk, goes to the heart of what kind of society Scotland is.”
UNISON is the largest union in Bield Housing and Care.
John Gallacher, Scottish organiser, 07904 342426
Danny Phillips, communications officer, 07944 664110