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Tuesday, 16 May 2017

Edinburgh Health and Social Care Inspection response

Many of the issues raised in the inspection published today mirror issues raised by UNISON over recent months and years, not least about central cuts at a time of rising need.

The report will be very disappointing for staff, especially since the inspection comments on how committed they are to joint working and how hard they have been working to make that a success.

This inspection came at a time of huge upheaval as the whole service was being reviewed. While some of that review was about different ways of working, the major issue was pressure on budgets. We know from lots of research that the eye comes off the ball when staff resources are taken up with reorganisation rather than service delivery.

Health and Social care has struggled to stay within budget for several years. You cannot just keep cutting while the demand for the service increases.

Westminster and Holyrood cuts mean Edinburgh has had to cut hundreds of millions over the years with another 145 million over the next three years. With health and social care accounting for about a third of the council's whole expenditure, it has obviously taken a big hit. Staffing has reduced year on year.

A key issue is pay and conditions of home care staff in procured services. How can you hope to recruit and retain care staff when they can get paid £2 ab hour more in Lidl?

We just cannot go on pretending that we can have social care on the cheap.

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