UNISON backs Bonnybridge care home protest

Bonnybridge protesters were joined by relatives of Bield care homes across Scotland for a demonstration outside the Scottish Parliament last year.
Bonnybridge protesters were joined by relatives of Bield care homes across Scotland for a demonstration outside the Scottish Parliament last year.

An “urgent” meeting in Glasgow tomorrow will see Bonnybridge protesters demanding Holyrood action to halt the closure of 12 care homes.

A local campaign aimed at saving Bield’s care home in Bonnybridge has mushroomed to become a national campaign involving relatives of residents in a dozen homes across the country, and their effort now has the backing of the union UNISON.

The protesters have already staged a demonstration outside the Scottish Parliament, where they presented a petition with 9.000 names calling for a halt to the plans.

Bield’s controversial decision to scrap its care homes on cost grounds directly affects 160 elderly people, many aged over 90. from places they have known as home for decades.

The families of those affected say the decision is a disaster, and are dismayed the Scottish Government has so far failed to take action.

UNISON, which is hosting the meeting, is concerned both at the impact on vulnerable residents and also the fact that up to 200 qualified registered care workers are being made compulsorily redundant.

John Gallacher, the union’s Scottish Organiser, said:“UNISON has been supporting families, lobbying hard for intervention to stop Bield’s care homes closure programme.

“We are disappointed that Scottish Government ministers seem content to stand by and let the closures happen, when the lives of vulnerable elderly people are at risk, and the jobs of essential care workers in many Scottish communities are being jettisoned.

“If it goes ahead it will be a disaster.

“New integrated joint boards should be subjected to proper political and public scrutiny and held accountable for allowing such damaging developments to take place within ridiculously short timescales”.

Tomorrow’s meeting is open to the public, and is at 1pm in the union’s premises at 14 West Campbell Street.