Public Health Scotland report into care homes, UNISON response

Deborah Clarke, UNISON head of community said: “Throughout this pandemic UNISON has raised the lack of personal protective equipment (PPE), no sick pay, and inadequate training on infection control for home care staff.

Scotland’s care system relies too heavily on homes that are run for profit, often owned by offshore foreign investment companies, rather than solely focused on providing quality care. The use of minimum wage, no sick pay and agency workers is the norm.

UNISON would have expected a full care needs analysis and appropriate risk assessment to have been carried out before any NHS discharges were carried out into care homes. 78 patients who tested positive from COVID-19 were transferred from Scottish hospitals to care homes, robust procedures should have been in place to deal with any associated risks.

This report confirms UNISON’s view that the Scottish care home system is broken and incapable of coping with a pandemic. The Scottish Government must accelerate its review into adult social care and deliver a national social care system fit for purpose.”


UNISON is the largest trade union in Scotland and UK. We are the largest trade union representing care workers.

Public Health Scotland report can be read here:

The report confirms that the outbreak level in private sector is bigger than in the public and voluntary sector.

Public Health Scotland are clear: “Risk of a care home outbreak increases progressively as the size of care home increases.”

One consequence of care being transferred to profit driven competitive chain enterprises has been the increasing development of larger standardised care homes.

UNISON Scotland contacts:
Deborah Clarke: 07538 101225
Danny Phillips: 07944 664110,