Erskine Park Home

– in the Scottish Parliament at on 8 November 2023.

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Photo of Neil Bibby Neil Bibby Labour

2. To ask the Scottish Government what its response is to the reported planned closure of Erskine Park home. (S6O-02689)

Photo of Maree Todd Maree Todd Scottish National Party

Renfrewshire health and social care partnership and the Care Inspectorate are aware of the planned closure and have met the provider. We know that the national care home contract has been cited as the reason for the closure, and we are sympathetic to the rising cost of specialist care. However, we understand that Erskine is offering all residents the opportunity to move to its veterans village, which is very close by, should they wish to do so.

Regrettably, there will be situations in which independent sector or local authority-run care homes close. It is outwith the Scottish Government’s remit to intervene. Our focus is on ensuring that local partners that are responsible do what is required to ensure a transition to suitable alternative placements.

Photo of Neil Bibby Neil Bibby Labour

Erskine, the charity for veterans, provides fantastic and specialist services to many older people in my region, and the closure will clearly be disruptive to residents. If a charity such as Erskine is having to make such a difficult decision because of the challenging financial situation that it and other independent care providers are in, how will the Scottish Government ensure that there is adequate funding in place for the whole social care sector, to ensure that staff are well paid and that people are kept out of hospital and looked after so that they can receive the appropriate and quality care that they need?

Photo of Maree Todd Maree Todd Scottish National Party

Neil Bibby will welcome the fact that social care funding has increased by over £800 million compared with 2021-22, as part of a record-high health and social care budget of over £19 billion. We have made a commitment to increase in this parliamentary session spending on social care by a quarter, and we are ahead of trajectory on that.

We continue to work with partners to address the pressures that they face and to take forward reform to deliver improved and sustainable services.

On social care workers’ pay, those who deliver direct care and commissioned services will see their pay increase to a minimum of £12 an hour from April next year. That is up from the £10.90 minimum rate that was introduced this year.

The creation of a national care service will help to provide consistency in further improved pay and conditions and access to training and development, and ensure that a career in social care is attractive and rewarding. We are beginning to make those improvements now.