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Almost One In Five Scottish Care Homes Close In Past 10 Years

ALMOST one in five care homes in Scotland has closed down in the past decade while the number of residents has fallen by just 6%, new figures indicate.

Statistics published by Public Health Scotland on Tuesday revealed that the number of adult care homes fell from 1,282 in 2013 to 1,037 in March 31 of this year.

The number of local authority care homes dropped by almost a third in the same period, from 199 to 137, while those in the voluntary or non-profit sector fell by 37% from 367 to 231. Despite the substantial decrease in the number of care homes available, the estimated number of residents, as of March 31, fell by just 6% from 36,578 to 34,365.

Scottish Labour deputy leader Jackie Baillie criticised the Scottish Government, claiming the sector was “at breaking point”.

She said: “This collapse in care homes will deprive people of the local care they need and pile pressure on the rest of the social care system and the NHS.

“The sector have been sounding the alarm for years, warning that homes will continue to close if the Scottish Government fails to act.
“We need a national care service that is truly fit for purpose and is equipped for the challenges of an ageing population.

“The SNP must act now to prevent disaster and support care homes, workers and residents.”

Scottish Care, a membership organisation representing the independent social care sector in Scotland, said the figures did not “tell the full story”, and said that smaller care homes have been closing and re-registered by larger organisations in many cases, and that there is a unequal loss of care homes in rural areas which makes local care “impossible”.

Speaking on BBC radio Scottish Care chief executive Donald MacAskill said: “What we’re finding increasingly is particularly rural, remote and small care homes and charitable-run care homes are having to close at a rate that we’ve never experienced before.

“Data may indicate just a marginal change but it’s the story which lies behind that of care homes being taken over by other organisations, the changes that that brings because smaller and family- run and charities aren’t able to make the sums add up.”

 

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