Residential care homes are failing the elderly, says UNISON Scotland

That’s the message UNISON Scotland is taking to the Scottish Parliament today (Tuesday) to call on politicians to support its new residential care charter.

UNISON’s residential care charter seeks to put an end to the poor treatment of residents and the workers who look after them, and find solutions so dignity and respect are at the heart of the care system.

UNISON is urging councils and care home owners in both the voluntary and private sector to adopt its new charter so standards of care can be raised. It follows on from the union’s ethical care charter, which aims to raise standards of care for people living in their own homes, as well as enhance the treatment of homecare workers.

UNISON’s residential care charter calls for:

• Time to care – to allow staff to properly care for the vulnerable people they look after
• Proper training and support for staff
• Decent pay for quality work
• Adopt measures to protect and support residents, including adequate staff ratios and thorough risk assessments

Dougie Black, UNISON Scotland’s regional organiser, said: “Scotland’s care system is failing our elderly and vulnerable – and the staff struggling to provide the best care for them.

“Elderly people should expect the best possible care, whether they are being looked after in their own accommodation, or in a care home.

“Today we are calling on MSPs to support UNISON’s residential care charter and to work with us to make the significant changes needed to restore respect and dignity and to improve standards in Scotland’s care homes.”

Dave Watson, UNISON’s Scottish organiser, said: “UNISON’s residential care charter sets out the minimum standards and employment conditions required to deliver decent care. Employment levels, pay, conditions and training directly impact on the quality of care delivered.
“A more stable, well-equipped workforce is essential to raise standards and deliver high quality, consistent care.

“We urge all councils, Independent Joint Boards and providers in the voluntary and private sector to adopt our residential care charter and raise the standards of care for the most vulnerable people in our society.”


Notes to editors

The event is taking place at the Scottish Parliament today (Tuesday) at 1pm (Committee Room 3). Members from UNISON’s local government committee will be joined by residential care workers and national officer Matthew Egan to call for support for the Residential Care Charter.

Further information:
• You can view UNISON’s residential care charter here
• You can view UNISON’s ethical care charter here
• You can view a copy of UNISON’s survey of home care workers ‘We care, do you?’ here
• You can also find more information on our website:

Dougie Black, UNISON’s regional organiser, on 07958 121 851
Dave Watson, UNISON’s Scottish organiser, on 07958 122 409