Budget needs to address Scotland’s £1 billion social care gap, charity warns

home care stock 2Extra funding of a billion pounds over the next three years is needed to address the gap of funding that exists in social care in Scotland today, MSPs heard this week.

Scottish Care told the Scottish Parliament’s health and sport committee inquiry into care home sustainability that care homes are in crisis and facilities across the country could close unless urgent investment is made.

The charity joined organisations including COSLA, Bield, the Care Inspectorate and the Scottish Federation of Housing Associations (SFHA) in giving evidence to the committee relating to care home sustainability.

The debate followed the decision by Bield to withdraw from the residential care sector to “secure its long-term future”.

Scottish Care chief executive, Donald Macaskill, said that providers were facing spiralling costs.

“The care home sector in Scotland is facing a significant crisis,” he said.

“This is not a word which is used lightly because after all, we are talking about the places people have come to know as their homes, and we are holding in our concern the 53,000 staff who rely on the sector to make their living.

“The care home sector in Scotland cannot face another year of spiralling costs coupled with even greater recruitment and retention challenges without there being an inevitable set of closures and withdrawals from the care home sector.”

When questioned on how much funding would be needed to fill the gaps in care provision, Mr Macaskill said an extra £1bn over three years would be his conservative estimate.

Mr Macaskill goes into further details about the figure in his blog.

Bield revealed in October that it is to close 12 residential homes within the next 12-18 months as part of a new five-year Business Strategy.

Chief executive Brian Logan told the committee that the care home side of the charity has been losing money for the past five years.