Care system in 'crisis' as complaints in private care homes 'proportionately higher'

Scottish Labour have repeated calls for a National Care Service.
Scottish Labour have said complaints in private care homes show the need for a National Care Service.Scottish Labour have said complaints in private care homes show the need for a National Care Service.
Scottish Labour have said complaints in private care homes show the need for a National Care Service.

Three quarters of Scotland’s privately-run care homes received a complaint in the last year new figures from the Care Inspectorate show.

The number of complaints received and upheld in privately-run care homes is above the average across all types of care homes including.

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In papers from a board meeting in June, the Care Inspectorate said a total of 76 per cent of private sector care homes were subject to a complaint, with just over a third of those complaints upheld by the watchdog.

The Care Inspectorate added: “These rates are higher than the proportions of services in other sectors with complaints received and upheld.”

Further statistics show a total of 18 care homes have received a letter of serious concern with 17 of them served on privately run care homes.

The statistics, from fortnightly reports to the Scottish Parliament by the inspectorate, have lead to claims from Scottish Labour leader Richard Leonard that the pandemic has “exposed a care system in crisis”.

The Scottish Government committed to a review of the care sector within its programme for government for the final parliamentary year ahead of the Holyrood elections.

Scottish Labour leader Richard Leonard said: “This pandemic has exposed a care system in crisis. As these reports show, Scotland’s care system has failed those in need time and time again.

“With such glaring disparity in the level of complaints between private care homes and others, it is clear that the profit motive not only has a detrimental impact on the terms and conditions of care staff but on the quality of care provided to residents.

“The number of letters being issued is deeply worrying given the crisis in our care homes throughout this pandemic. It seems there is no rationale presented by the Care Inspectorate for which care homes are being chosen but these reports make clear that those run for profit are more likely to be a concern.

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"So it does beg the question, does the Care Inspectorate recognise that care homes run for profit may not always prioritise residents’ wellbeing?

“I am determined to push this government to take the profit motive out of care for good, a goal the First Minister agreed with last week.”

Health Secretary Jeane Freeman told The Scotsman: “As announced by the First Minister in our Programme for Government last week, an independent review will consider the option of a national care service and will consider all aspects of adult social care including funding, governance, administration and delivery.

“This review will examine how adult social care can be most effectively reformed to deliver a national approach to care and support services. It will take a human rights-based approach, with a strong emphasis on the needs, rights and preferences of people who use these services, their carers and their families and will build on the people led policy work which was underway before the pandemic.

“It will also build upon our existing commitments to improving provision – long standing issues in adult social care have been thrown into sharp relief during the pandemic, and they demand our attention.”

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