A north care home boss has stepped up calls for the Scottish Government to intervene in the “crisis” in social care.
Ron Taylor, managing director of Parklands Care Homes, has urged Social Care Minister Maree Todd to work with COSLA and the social care sector to end the stalemate surrounding the National Care Home Contract (NCHC), and deliver a fairer deal for care homes. Despite months of discussion there has been no agreement on a sustainable form of funding for the social care sector.
In a recent blog, Mr Taylor said the NCHC, which sets out Scotland-wide rates for residential and nursing care, had “failed to keep pace with rising costs and now falls far short of what is needed to deliver high-quality care and support for older people.”
In a statement last month, Scottish Care said current funding levels were “equivalent to less than £5 per hour for complex care and support.”
Mr Taylor has returned to the subject in a new video in which he discusses the “frightening” pace of care home closures, and warns more will likely follow unless an agreement is reached on future funding, further fuelling the NHS bed blocking crisis.
He said: “The fees that we get at the moment are just not enough. To get a 6% increase, which is on the table at the moment, doesn’t even scratch the surface. The National Care Home contract was introduced roughly 15 years ago and really, it’s not fit for purpose.
“Over the last 30 years, I’ve never ever experienced the state of the industry as it is now.
“The number of closures and the accelerated number of closures is frightening, particularly in the Highlands with numerous homes closing, and I think it’s undoubtedly going to get worse.
“We know that there is a huge amount of bed blocking within Raigmore and Aberdeen Royal Infirmary, so surely the social care sector should be part of the solution, not the problem.
“It’s quite clear that COSLA don’t have any funds to take this any further. The Scottish Government need to intervene to help us out of this crisis. We are suffering crippling cost increases, crippling agency costs and we need financial assistance.
“We look after people who are blessed with old age. These people have given their lives to the community and now I feel we’re letting them down.”
Earlier this month, Parklands revealed that its agency costs alone had soared by more than 800% in just two years and now stand at almost £1 million a year.
In January, Parklands took the difficult decision to close its smallest home in Ullapool due to rising and unsustainable costs.
You can watch the video here