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FoI Reveals Extent of Pressure on Edinburgh Council Care Staff and Care Homes

A Freedom of Information (FoI) request lodged by Lothian MSP Miles Briggs has further revealed the severe strains on Edinburgh Council’s under-pressure social care staff and care homes. The FoI reveals that as of the 6th of December the Council was more than 80 full time equivalent staff short in terms of social care assistants and workers. Furthermore, 89 local people were waiting for places in council owned care homes. These statistics only refer to social care staff directly employed by the Council and care homes owned by the Council. Much of the social care provided in Edinburgh is contracted by the Council through independent and third sector organisations who are also grappling with a recruitment crisis and a staff turnover of up to 50%. Independent and third sector care homes also provide many care home places under contract to the Council.

Commenting Miles Briggs MSP said:

“The fact that Edinburgh Council itself, which employs directly only a relatively small proportion of the social care assistants and workers providing vital care in our communities, has more than 80 full time equivalent vacancies is a stark indication of the recruitment crisis affecting social care in the city.

“The city’s health and social care partnership has already highlighted that some local care providers are reporting staff turnover rates of between 30 and 50%, something which raises real questions about the sustainability of the system.

“Most of the 89 local people waiting for a council run care home place are experiencing- through no fault of their own- delayed discharge in our hospitals which is putting such pressure on the availability of acute beds at the Royal Infirmary and other hospitals in the region.

“While the health and social care partnership’s recently announced extra investment in social care is welcome, we need to expand capacity and in 2018 I will continue to press the Scottish Government to do far more to support our local health and social care system which is experiencing such difficulties as demand continues to grow. The SNP Scottish Government- which is focusing so much on trying to attract thousands of people to work in childcare- needs to get a grip and start tackling the social care recruitment crisis which is affecting Edinburgh and Lothian so severely.”

ENDs…

Miles Briggs