Social care in Edinburgh is in crisis. Now the Edinburgh Integrated Joint Board which runs the system wants to take £46 million out of the budget. They aren’t saying which services will be hit but the cuts will make a bad situation even worse. Those in need of care, their friends and families will face further stress and despair.
Join the protest at the City Chambers (253 High Street) as the board meets on 13th June. Tell your friends and fellow workers, get your union branch or community group actively mobilising to bring people along. Share this event.
Short term we need to insist that funds are made available so that no services are lost. Then we need a sustained rebuilding of the service that takes everything back into public control and away from outsourced private, for profit providers.
Several organisations are already planning to make deputations on the day. This is a chance to speak for 5minutes to the board members about your views and experience. The more individuals and groups who do this the better. If you would like help and support, there’s a meeting on Thursday where you can meet up with others who are intending to make deputations.
Prepare Deputations Thursday 8th June 17:30-7:00pm Community Wellbeing Space, Westside Plaza, Wester Hailes Rd EH14 2SW and Online
In order to attend the EIJB meeting you must write a ‘deputation’ to send in advance to describe why you want to be there. The CWC in collaboration with Unite The Union are hosting an advice session for how to write this deputation – hybrid online and in person. Des Loughney will be advising to make the process easy and accessible. Please come along even if you just want to connect and see what it’s all about! Join us at the wellbeing space or online.
Elected councillors support publicly owned and managed care homes
At the May meeting of the Edinburgh City Council Policy and Sustainability Committee councillors responded to the news that the long promised EIJB consultation on the future of Health and Social Care in Edinburgh was now being trailed as a consultation on the closure of the four care homes – originally slated for closure in June 2021. You can watch the discussion here. There was anger across all political groups as it seems that this retrograde decision was taken by officials without any reference the board members and even it seems the chair of the EIJB (an elected councillor). A motion proposed by Councillor Ross McKenzie was passed unanimously. The motion affirms that council policy is to support publicly owned and managed care homes. This puts the council at odds with the EIJB.
Protest Tuesday 13th June, 9am
We are building for a protest on June 13th at the City Chambers when the Edinburgh Integrated Joint Board meets to make a proposed £46 million cut in the health and social care budget. The service is in crisis already and these cuts will make things much worse – bringing misery and distress to many people across the city. To get as big a protest as possible we need to get the word out about the seriousness of the situation. The Meadows Festival is a great place to meet thousands of people.
Your help needed
We’ll have lots of leaflets available – please come along at any time over the weekend – you can collect leaflets from the Edinburgh CND stall (look out for a large flag with a peace symbol) – ask for Pete – and then spend half an hour leafletting around the festival. If lots of us join in with this then we can reach a lot of people.
Draft Notes: Another Edinburgh is Possible Meeting on 4th May 2023 15 people attending – 3 apologies. Background • The Edinburgh Integrated Joint Board (EIJB) is responsible for the provision of most health and social care services in the city. • The Edinburgh IJB met in March and approved around £11 million of cuts in its budget. Its meetings in April and May were cancelled. It plans to consider cutting an additional £35 million at its June meeting. • A report by the care commission published in March described the Edinburgh IJB as failing to deliver services at almost every level with a demoralised workforce. • Recent audit commission report notes that IJB’s can’t recruit enough staff – particularly true in Edinburgh – staff turnover (Scotland wide) is 30% a year (likely to be even higher in Edinburgh?) • Edinburgh IJB can’t meet its statutory responsibilities or health and safety standards. • Demand for support is rising because: o The proportion of people over 60 in Edinburgh is growing. o The overall population of Edinburgh is growing. o Covid and long covid continue to increase the numbers in need of support. o Poverty levels are increasing as a result of the cost-of-living crisis. • Key dates: IJB meets on Tuesday 13th June, the council Finance and Resources Committee on 20th June and the full council on 22nd June. • The EIJB will not release details of the actual impact of the cuts – probably not even at the meetings in June. • The crisis in social care is about resources but most particularly about staffing because care staff – who are skilled workers – are not paid properly. • The EIJB is in organisational chaos – it seems likely that senior officers will resign. • This is a long-term crisis – unions and others have been warning the council of its likelihood for years. • Edinburgh IJB has the highest proportion of outsourced services of any region in Scotland.
Challenges Short term: to stop the immediate cuts so that health and social care services in Edinburgh don’t deteriorate further. Longer term (but urgent): • involve service users and unions in reorganising health and social care in Edinburgh. • end outsourcing, take profit out of care.
Campaign We agreed to keep working on and refining these demands. This is the provisional list. • Call on the council to insist that the EIJB must meet its statutory responsibilities. • Call on the council to provide the EIJB with the resources it needs. • Call on the Scottish Government to support the council with the resources required to solve the immediate crisis. • Call for the radical reform of the IJB.
Actions Again, this list is provisional and will be developed further. Please email with suggestions. • Write to/lobby local councillors and ask them to support the demands. • Write to your MSP and ask them to raise the issue at Holyrood. • Talk to your union or community groups that you are involved in and ask them to support the campaign. • Write to the Evening News • Share the AEIP Facebook page and website as widely as you can. • Support the campaigning stalls that we’ll organise in the 2 or 3 weeks before the EIJB meeting – details to follow – but also organise your own stalls – we can help with leaflets if necessary. • Mass protest at the EIJB meeting on 13th June.
On top of £11 million cuts agreed at the March meeting of the integrated joint board (IJB) it is now proposing a further £35 million in cuts which will severely impact frontline services, primarily those that are run by Edinburgh City Council. This follows a report from the care commission in March which described a care system in the city that is already failing at almost every level.
The IJB has cancelled its April and June meetings. The timetable for decision making on the cuts is that the IJB meets on Tuesday 13th June, the council Finance and Resources Committee on 20th June and the full council on 22nd June. So we have about 6 weeks to really build a campaign to stop these cuts.
Please try and attend our meeting at 6.30pm on Thursday 4th May where pooling ideas, organising and building the campaign will be the only agenda item. Register at https://tinyurl.com/0405aeip and a link for the Zoom meeting will be sent to your email. Please share with friends and workmates.
The Edinburgh Integrated Joint Board (EIJB) is implementing a budget for 2023/24 which involves cuts of £46 million – about 5% of its total expenditure. This is going to have a very negative effect on the provision of health and social care in the city. You can watch a video of the latest board meeting on the City Council’s webcasting service. Last week the Care Inspectorate published a devastating report on the existing state of health and social care administered by the EIJB.
We’ll be publishing more on this in the coming days. Please contact us at email@example.com if you’d like to get involved in campaigning.
The Care in Crisis public meeting was organised by Another Edinburgh is Possible on 4th March 2023. Most attendees were online but there were also in person groups at the Wester Hailes Wellbeing Centre and the Trade Unions in Communities Hub in Craigmillar.
The report includes four videos and a powerpoint that includes ideas for future action.
In this first video Elizabeth Hayden, social care worker and Unite health and safety rep talks about the crisis.
Care in Crisis – Every cut in care makes the NHS bleed
Unfortunately this meeting has had to be rescheduled – new details will be available shortly
A public meeting organised by Another Edinburgh is Possible. We’ll hear from Nick Kempe (former head of services for older people on Glasgow City Council – see a link to a recent article by Nick below) on the roots of the problems with social care in Scotland, there will also be contributions from care workers and care users. There will be lots of time for contributions and discussion from all those attending the meeting.
It may also be possible to join in groups at venues around the city. So far this looks likely to be possible in Wester Hailes, North Edinburgh and Craigmillar. If you can offer an additional venue please email firstname.lastname@example.org. We’ll add details of face to face venues here as the information comes in.
The Wester Hailes venue is confirmed as the Community Wellbeing Space, Westside Plaza Shopping Centre, Wester Hailes Rd, Edinburgh EH14 2SW
This flyer is available to download – please email if you are able to distribute multiple copies.
Unethical procurement – the Scottish Government’s decision to fund 300 more care home places
Nick Kempe has written an article in Commonweal on the Scottish Governments decision to spend £8million on using private care homes to provide temporary accommodation for people who should in their own home with a care package. Here’s a quote
To give an idea of the number of people who may be affected, £8m will pay for c7,700 weeks of care. This means that if the average interim care home placement lasts 4 weeks, 1,925 additional older people may be moved from hospital to care homes. With the staffing crisis in care homes apparently even more severe than in the NHS or community services, a fact acknowledge by Scottish Care the organisation representing the interests of private care home providers, this makes no sense. At best this measure appears to be a very expensive form of warehousing and at worst will lead to yet more unnecessary deaths.
Ethical commissioning needs to start with staff pay, expenses and training, not providers, and should be based on care provision, like health, being not for profit. Only then will the current crisis which is overwhelming both the NHS and the remnants of our care system be addressed. The Scottish Government’s announcement raises serious concerns about their commitment to develop ethical commissioning through the National Care Service bill. It also reveals a woeful lack of understanding of people’s health and care needs and a capacity to re-think longstanding problems.
The Edinburgh Integrated Joint Board met on Tuesday 13th December. There were deputations from Edinburgh TUC and City of Edinburgh Unison. We’re pleased to post the contributions from Des Loughney and Carmen Simon from Edinburgh TUC. You can find the board papers that are referred to on the council website and watch a video of the whole or parts of the meeting.
I would like to thank the Board for agreeing to hear our deputation from Edinburgh Trade Union Council. The deputation consists of myself as Secretary of Edinburgh TUC and Carmen Simon, who is vice chair of Edinburgh TUC. Carmen is a former social care worker of eleven years experience. Ian Mullen from UNISON was due to be the third member of our deputation: he sends his apologies and cannot attend today. He has other urgent business.
I have comments on three items which are on your agenda today. These items are the minutes of the meeting on 18/10/22, Item 6.2 and item 6.3.
The minutes of the meeting give an accurate recording of the key points made by our deputation but do not record any response to our points. If I remember correctly the EIJB was asked to approve measures to mitigate the Winter Crisis in Social Care which included recruitment of more staff, cuts in the care package of people and a Triage team which will decide on whether care packages for people even in the substantial and critical categories, shall be implemented in whole or in part. Apparently the triage team were going to be able to overrule the assessments of social workers and occupational therapists. These would have been done in liaison with carers and relatives. If the triage system were agreed we think the public has a right to know.
I was interested in item 6.2 because although it deals with primary care issues it indirectly refers to the provision of social care services. I had not realised that the projected figure for the increase in population of Edinburgh was about 70,000 by 2030. It seems that there is a possibility that the figure may end up being over 100,000. There seem to be major challenges in obtaining finance for the construction of the new Health Centres required. It is not clear where the trained staff, including GPs, are going to come from to staff the new Health Centres are going to come from, never mind how their employment is financed.
In 5.4 there is reference to an additional factor which has caused concern. This is the expansion of care homes across the city. I do not think it is clear if the writers of the paper consider that there will be a further expansion required of care homes in Edinburgh. Our fear is that any future expansion will be provided solely by the private sector despite the poor quality record of the sector. Another fear is there will not be enough GPs and other essential practitioners to provide the services that more care homes, whether public, third sector or private, require.
We would like to see an estimate of the total cost, not just capital costs, of expanding Primary Care Services up to 2030.
As regards item 6.3 we think that section 5 is correct.
“People are living longer at home which means that when they do need health and social care services, they are presenting with more complex care needs than previously seen. People are older and frailer than before, often with multi-morbidity and the current model of care is not designed to meet the needs of people presenting in this way.”
The current model of care has to change. We hope that the trade union movement and the public will be provided with the information that will allow them to express an opinion on the options.
The trade unions consider that future social care requires a reasonably paid and trained workforce with a set of rights including sectoral collective bargaining. We hope that the consultation documents will provide options and costings on how workforce reforms can be achieved. A frank admission must be made that the race to the bottom over the last decade has undermined social care and brought us to the brink of disaster. It has to be recognised that the development of the so called partnership with the private sector and accompanying race to the bottom has not worked.
The consultation should not just consider meeting needs for substantial and critical care. It should consider more than the status quo. It should consider meeting low and moderate needs as an essential preventative strategy. There should be information on the implications of meeting some or all of low and medium care needs.
It is planned to ask people their views on the role of the private sector on delivering care. We hope that appropriate information will be made available such as the poor conditions of employment in the private sector, poor health and safety culture for both workers and clients. Has anyone studied the quality of private sector homes? Are they fit for purpose?
Are they fit to deal with a pandemic? is their staffing system fit to deal with a pandemic? Has the EIJB ever gathered information on the standard of health and safety within the private sector? Does the sector meet its statutory obligations? To what extent is the EIJB expecting the private sector to meet the increase in future social care demand? Is that extent dictated by the limitations of Scottish Government funding?
Thanks for listening to me. I would be happy to answer any questions or clarify points.
13th December 2022
Carmen Simón speaking on behalf of the ETUC – 13/12/22
The ETUC is looking forward to the consultation on provision of social care in Edinburgh. We are glad to see that there will be trade unions involvement in the preparation for this consultation. However, We are concerned about its limited scope. It seems that Social care provision and the crisis affecting social care is impacting only the senior citizens relying on care homes bed based care. And we know that this is far from the truth.
While we think that tackling bed based care is important , we keep getting reports from members regarding the horrendous situations they are experiencing of long hours and unmanageable workloads at housing support and supported accommodation services.
This is the third deputation in a row that the ETUC have taken part in. At the first deputation we raised concerns about 24 hour shifts caused by the staffing crisis in the sector, the potential consequences for the quality of service that is provided and the very serious implications around Health and Safety . This created quite a lot of stir amongst the members of the Board and the local press. My Branch ( UNITE Not for Profit) , consequently produced a paper on this matter which was shared with the Board members. My Branch did not get a response to this paper. On the second deputation, we raised this issue again. We were told that the paper has not been received by some members of the Board so my Branch circulated it again. We are here in this third deputation and my Branch still waiting for a response on this paper.
A couple of weeks ago, one of our members contacted us because he had been asked to be on shift for 41 hours during the Christmas period supporting someone with learning disabilities and challenging behaviour. Let’s not forget also, this member gets paid £10.50 an hour,
What are the EIJB doing about this issue, which is clearly getting worse?
We read in the papers prior to this meeting that Edinburgh has an ageing population , but it also has an increasing population of all ages and circumstances that will need not only GP and primary care provision, but also social care provision. What is the plan to recruit and retain staff in the social care sector? Where are the resources to meet need according to the principles of ……,, Early intervention and prevention 2. Tackling inequality 3. Person-centred care 4. Managing our resources effectively 5. Making best use of capacity across the system 6. Right care, right place, right time.
The ETUC. Is concerned about the private discussion of the Assistance program report which took place during the last EIJB meeting. We were not able to “observe the democratic process” . We are aware that this was not a report done by the Board but commissioned by the Scottish Government. However we are in the dark on what the members thought about the recommendations on that report, recommendations that clearly supported the ideas that the main investment should be done by the private sector; that professionals are overprescribing and that the only way forward is to slash care packages even further than the 8% they were already slashed. . A report that did not address the staffing crisis that is, in our opinion, the first issue that needs to be resolved.
ETUC is concerned because of the winter crisis that we are facing. We would like to know how the EIJB will guarantee that the CEC will be able to fulfil its duty of care to their citizens in the current context.