Fiona Hyslop, local MSP for the Linlithgow Constituency, has raised her serious concerns over the recent statement released by Unison stating that the Lothian’s Integrated Joint Board – who receive funding from West Lothian Council and the NHS are proposing the ‘outsourcing’ of services to the voluntary and private sector impacting on residential care of older people and care at home for the older and disabled people.
The proposed funding cuts could also mean job losses in Housing with Care and Admin support, a reduction in the number of Occupational Therapists and Social Workers and a reduction in the number of residential care placements for adults with a learning disability.
Unison have also stated that the proposals will impact predominantly on approximately 500 low paid, mainly part-time female Council workers and some of the most vulnerable populations in West Lothian.
Fiona Hyslop commented,
“I am extremely alarmed and concerned about proposals by the West Lothian Council and NHS Integrated Joint Board to outsource key services to the most vulnerable people in our community to private and external provider from current Council led services.
“I can appreciate that there is financial pressure across all budgets in all areas, but these cuts are being proposed despite West Lothian Council receiving the second biggest increase to their overall budget (8.9%) in the whole of Scotland to mitigate increasing financial pressures and meet the needs of the large and growing population the Integrated Joint Board serves, so I am hugely concerned at their proposals to privatise residential care of the elderly, put a number of jobs at risk and disrupt services for already vulnerable elderly people and people with disabilities.
“I have written to the Integrated Joint Board on this issue as a matter of urgency and to the Leader of West Lothian Council, Councillor Lawrence Fitzpatrick, and the Chief Executive Officer of NHS Lothian to share my concerns.”
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