A big thank you to everyone who advertised the meeting and all those who attended and helped make it a success. In the event 82 people registered for the meeting and 65 attended all or part of it.
This report includes video of the speaker contributions, a summary of the information, ideas, useful online links that were shared during the meeting, and a copy of the City of Edinburgh Council Unison branch’s newsletter on the Care Homes.
There are still a few things to add and if you spot anything that we’ve missed please email and let us know.
The meeting was chaired by Robyn Kane and in this first video you can hear Nick Kempe who is an active campaigner on social care. Nick was the first of the speakers.
Nick followed up after the meeting with some reflections on the overall discussion:
He suggested that if the Edinburgh City Councillors come out firmly against the closures then it will put the Edinburgh Integrated Joint Board in a very difficult place. However, he noted that if the recommendations of the recent Feeley report on social care go through then this element of local democratic control will be lost.
Nick also commented on the apparent lack of planning for the consequences of closure and the serious consequences for many residents with the likelihood that most would have to move into private care homes.
He also suggested that the Board is probably locked into Private Finance Initiative (PFI) arrangements with the private sector which may constrain their decisions and we may want to use a Freedom of Information Request to make this information public.
Following Nick we hear from Graeme Smith, chair of the City of Edinburgh Council Unite branch, which represents some of the care home workers.
Graeme was followed by Ian Mullen from Unison, which represents many of the care home workers affected by the closure proposals.
We also heard from family members of the residents who live in the effected homes. This video clip features Ray Whittingham.
Here are some of the suggestions for future action that were made during the course of the meeting – note that the next meeting of the Edinburgh Integrated Joint Board is on Tuesday 17th August.
- Demo outside of City Chambers: identify suitable dates?
- National campaign: UNISON is involved in campaigns against closures throughout the UK. Can these be joined up? This is a national issue. In Scotland, the Feeley report leaves the door open to private provision. The National Care Service is shaping up to be a commissioning body only. Our campaign should also address wealth retention. Outsourcing services means the outsourcing of profits generated by the community.
- Identifying providers: Four Seasons and Equity Investors should be targeted for profiteering from public money and the elderly and vulnerable.
- Reach out to residents and their families. Their voices must be prioritised.
- Contact We Own It for support and joint action.
- Allyson Pollock and Willie Black to get in touch with Paul Laverty – possibility of a short film to share on social media/future meetings (staff, residents and their families should be front and centre here).
- City centre lightshow?
- JIB is driving privatisation. This is about public provision and assets/community wealth. Save our Services should collate our case (again with staff/residents/families to the fore) and present it to the Board with media invited. What dates are they meeting?
Many people shared online links that you may find helpful:
Please sign and share the Save our Care homes petition
Community Care page: human rights and family access
Edinburgh Integration Joint Board Proposals (PDF)
2021 Care Inspectorate report to Scottish parliament. Record of private care homes is always worse than those remaining in the public sector
Ferrylee report presented to Scottish parliament in March 2021:
Integrated Joint Board meeting, June 2021.
Liberton hospital webpage:
Care and Support Workers Organise! Facebook page:
The CEC Unison branches newsletter on the care homes