On 28 September, the Edinburgh Integration Joint Board met to discuss plans to change Drumbrae Care Home to a hospital based complex clinical care unit (HBCCC) and to close the NHS-run community hospital at Ferryfield.
The Council trade unions organised demos throughout the day with the support of community activists and Labour councillors. Once again, Unite gave a deputation to the EIJB to speak out against cuts to publicly owned-residential care homes, the unaccountable nature of the EIJB and the lack of consultation with staff, residents and citizens. Watch Unite’s deputation in the Council’s webcast or read it below.
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.
Unite is asking the Edinburgh Integration Joint Board (EIJB) why it produced a report proposing closure of several Local Authority Care Homes and was ready to vote it through (therefore authorise these closures) despite having no consultation with residents, employees or unions until our deputation and subsequent media interest encouraged them to think again.
Many of our members in the care homes under threat (Ferrylea, Ford’s Road, Clovenstone and The Jewel) had been informed, some by email, only a few days earlier. Some of our members had just been moved from the now closed Cherry Oak to homes earmarked for closure.
This is no way to treat our elderly residents and the workers who care for them and it provides us with a stark warning about the behaviour of those with decision-making power over others and how the enormous efforts and challenges of the pandemic can be so easily forgotten, lest we continually remind.