Unite the union members have today (17 August) protested with Unions and Another Edinburgh is Possible against plans to close five care homes in the city.

The protest was held outside Edinburgh city council chambers to coincide with a meeting to discuss the future of the care homes as the trade unions and local community groups highlighted the lack of adequate consultation and engagement over the closures.

The Edinburgh Integration Joint Board (EIJB) meeting today focused on the closures of Liberton hospital and Ferryfield community hospital, and the change of Drumbrae from a residential nursing care home to medically led care for the elderly.

In June, the EIJB announced plans to also close Ford’s Road, Clovenstone, Jewel House and Ferrylee care homes. The closure proposals will mean a reduction of 211 residential care places and the potential loss of dozens of jobs.

Mary Alexander, deputy Scottish secretary of Unite, said: “The decision on the closures of Ford's Road, Clovenstone, Jewel House and Ferrylee are being delayed until September but Unite members and the local community remain deeply alarmed at the lack of public engagement over the closures, and the ongoing assumption that these are inevitable. We need sight of and more transparency over the Care Commission recommendations on which the closure plans are based and democratic accountability.

“Unite members who work in the homes deserve better attention after all the hard work and commitment they have shown over the past eighteen months. We will fight to ensure their voices are heard as well as that of the care home residents who have not been subjected to the ‘human rights’ based approach advocated by the Feeley report as central to the future of the National Care Service.”

ENDS

Notes to editors:

The first minister announced that there would be an Independent Review of Adult Social Care in Scotland as part of the Programme for government. The review was chaired by Derek Feeley, a former Scottish government Director General for Health and Social Care and Chief Executive of NHS Scotland.

The Independent Review was published on 3 February 2021.