Care home owners reject executive offer

Private care home owners have rejected an increase offer from
the Scottish executive and have voted to escalate their action of
refusing all new council-funded placements.

The decision follows a week of uncertainty which started with a
public squabble as Scottish Care, representing the majority of care
home owners, accused the Scottish executive of deliberately
postponing a negotiation meeting for the second time in a

In an unexpected move the executive publicly offered an
additional £17.5 million to local authorities to resolve the

Responding to the offer, Joe Campbell, chief executive of
Scottish Care, said: “It is not just insulting – it is
inadequate.” Scottish Care has demanded an extra £50 per
person per week while the executive’s offer amounts to
£10 per person per week. Campbell was scathing of the
executive’s offer and added: “It is amazing that when they
want to find the money for a new parliament to parade themselves in
they can find it, but when it comes to supporting elderly people
there is no money to be found.”

Scottish Care promptly rejected the executive’s offer and
decided on further action in the dispute. Campbell announced an
escalation of action and said: “This will begin on July 30. We will
decide where we will begin targeting council areas. We regret it
but feel we have no option. We believe quite often these
organisations don’t respond to argument – they only
respond to pressure.” So far only Aberdeen City, North Lanarkshire
and South Lanarkshire are affected.

In the meantime a dispute appears to be simmering between the
Scottish executive and the Convention of Scottish Local
Authorities. In announcing the additional £17.5 million,
Malcolm Chisholm, deputy minister for community care, made it clear
that these funds would be ring fenced for residential and nursing
home care of older people. But Cosla has rejected this move.

A spokesperson for Cosla said: “We do not want this money to be
ring fenced. We are grown-ups and we should be treated as such. But
I can guarantee that this money will go where they want it to.”

Many private home owners have claimed that the dispute on fees
could be resolved if local authorities only spent the money
allocated to them by the executive for the needs of older people on
older people. Campbell has now publicly supported this view and
said: “There is no doubt that local authorities are using the money

A postponed meeting between Cosla and Scottish Care has not yet
been reconvened.

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