Care home negotiations abandoned

The crisis over private residential and nursing home care is set
to deepen as the next negotiating summit has been cancelled at the
eleventh hour amid fears of growing hostility.

Scottish Care, the organisation which represents some 800 of
Scotland’s 1,100 private care home owners, obtained a leaked
report written by Convention of Scottish Local Authorities
officials predicting the issue could not be resolved before next
April. The document indicates the dispute over private care home
owners’ demand for £50 per resident per week extra
cannot be fully resolved until budgets are allocated for the next
financial year. It is also alleged that the report sets out a
strategy to “marginalise Scottish Care in public opinion”.

The new development arose as Cosla and Scottish Care were due to
enter their next round of negotiations tomorrow. A spokesperson for
Scottish Care reacted angrily to the report and said: “Cosla say
publicly they understand our case and are keen to help but behind
the scenes it is evident they are simply stringing us along.”

A Cosla spokesperson refused to comment on the leaked report and
said: “It has already been agreed that we approach the Scottish
executive for more funding for private care home owners, but it’s
very difficult to get additional funding from the executive when
they are in mid-term.” Throughout the crisis the Scottish executive
has maintained the position that the power to allocate funds, and
thereby resolve the dispute is the responsibility of local
authorities only.

A Cosla spokesperson said: “The meeting with Scottish Care has
been deferred to allow further negotiations to take place in an
effort to resolve the dispute to the best outcome for
Scotland’s older people.”

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