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SOCIAL care services in Scotland are in crisis with “exhausted key workers, vulnerable service users and worried families,” the Scottish Labour Party and GMB union warn.
Both Scottish Labour and GMB are calling for the creation of a National Care Service when the Holyrood Parliament debates the country’s proposed budget this week.
The call came as one of Britain’s biggest care providers, HC-One, faces financial problems with the company planning to sell 10 of the care homes it runs in Scotland, putting 750 jobs at risk.
Scottish Labour said it was time for a care service that “puts people ahead of profits.”
It also called on the Scottish government to pledge to increase the pay of all social care workers to £15 per hour, starting with an immediate increase in pay to £12 per hour.
Scottish Labour deputy leader and health and social care spokeswoman Jackie Baillie said: “We must ensure that the highest levels of care are provided to guarantee the wellbeing of residents, and that staff are valued for their work.
“When private care homes are put up for sale, it can take months to find new buyers — leaving hundreds of jobs at risk.
“Now is the time for a national care service that puts people ahead of profit and offers our care workforce the £15-an-hour pay they deserve, and the SNP government should deliver this in this week’s Budget.”
GMB Scotland secretary Gary Smith said: “HC-One is demonstrating everything that is wrong with our broken model of private provision of residential care.”
A spokesman for HC-One said: “For those homes which will close, we will provide all possible support to our colleagues to gain ongoing employment.”
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