Yesterday, activists from Unite, Unison and Another Edinburgh is Possible demonstrated outside the City Chambers to protest the proposals to close Council care homes.
The Edinburgh Integrated Joint Board were noting the progress of the Bed Based Care Strategy that was proposed at the previous June meeting. The proposals look to close 4 Council-run care homes, convert one into a hospital care setting and convert the remaining Council-run homes to nursing homes. This would see the removal of Council-run residential care homes in the city. The plans would cut over 200 beds in Council care homes.
The voices outside the City Chambers made it clear that these proposals are unacceptable. Chants of ‘no ifs, no buts, no care home cuts’ rang in the air and speakers discussed, among other thing,
- privatisation of public services
- mistreatment of staff
- lack of consultation
- the Council’s intentions for selling the homes
- the decision-making powers of Integration Joint Boards.
this is not about care, it’s about propertyCllr Gordon Munro
- Mary Alexander, Unite Depute Scottish Secretary
- Councillor Lezley-Marion Cameron and Councillor Scott Arthur
- Willie Black, Another Edinburgh is Possible
- David Harold, Unison convener.
The EIJB heard deputations from
- Graeme Smith from Unite
- Gerry Stovin from Unison
- Kathleen Jenkins and Des Loughney from the Edinburgh TUC
Unite and Unison gave their deputations live from the demo. Watch Unite’s deputation here:
Outcome and next steps
The EIJB has since responded that they will carry out a public consultation.
Today’s meeting to discuss the equality impact assessment raised more questions than it answered and showed how little evidence has been gathered to back up these proposals and to understand the impact they could have on residents, staff and the city.
The next meeting of the EIJB is 14 September. We must keep up the momentum to ensure the decision is not made then and the proposals are dropped, in favour of exploring alternatives that are informed by the voices of Edinburgh citizens and care home staff.
You can help us keep the pressure on
- sign the petition to save our care homes
- write to your councillor and MSP
- get in touch with our branch officials.