Care providers tell council bosses to get their act together

Figures revealed 95 people died waiting for care in Edinburgh. File picture: Ocskay Bence
Figures revealed 95 people died waiting for care in Edinburgh. File picture: Ocskay Bence
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CARE providers have urged the new top brass at the city council to get their house in order over help for vulnerable people as the Scottish Government is pressed for details on promised new funding.

Shocking figures yesterday revealed 95 people died while waiting for care in Edinburgh.

And today Ranald Mair, chief executive of Scottish Care, which represents providers of care-at-home services, said council bosses and health chiefs in the Capital “desperately” needed to get their act together.

He said the recent upheaval in the senior ranks at the council – especially the change in chief executive and the departure of the director of health and social care – could be having an impact.

“The two new people in these roles have to find their feet and get their act together with Tim Davison, the chief executive of the health board,” he said.

“It takes time for new people coming in to get up to speed and make the right strategic decisions about what they need to do.”

New council chief executive Andrew Kerr took over from predecessor Dame Sue Bruce in July.

Peter Gabbitas quit as director of health and social care the same month amid concerns about overspending in the department.

A new chief officer, Robert McCulloch-Graham, was appointed in October to replace him, answering to the new health and social care joint board.

The council’s most senior management team has seen a complete turnover in just 18 months.

Mr Mair said: “Edinburgh desperately needs to get its act together between the council and the health board.

“I’m sure there is a will to make that happen, but with the changes in personnel, they need to make sure it does and the resources are channelled in the right direction.”

He also called for clarity over £250 million of extra funding for social care announced by Finance Secretary John Swinney in his budget in December.

Edinburgh health and social care convener Ricky Henderson rejected the suggestion the council’s managerial changes were a factor.

But he agreed “some clarity” over the allocation of extra cash would be helpful.

The Scottish Government said talks on allocations were taking place with Cosla.