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PRIVATISATION TO BLAME FOR HOME CLOSURES

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Unison has added its voice to calls for the government to introduce special guidelines to deal with proposed closur...
Unison has added its voice to calls for the government to introduce special guidelines to deal with proposed closures of residential and nursing homes caring for the elderly. Before any closures are allowed, there should be proper consultation and alternative provision made available in the community, says the union.
Unison national secretary for local government, Malcolm Wing, reacting to the report from the advice group Counsel and Care that homes were closing at an alarming rate, said:
'This situation underlines the folly of privatisation which has now put the elderly and local authorities at the mercy of the private providers who will take the most profitable decisions. In the housing market boom of last year, there was evidence that proprietors were closing homes and selling up in order to make a quick profit.
'Local authorities were forced to dispose of the majority of homes because the private sector said it could run them cheaper and better. And now they are threatening to close or dispose of their assets, encouraged by a buoyant housing market, unless local authorities pay them more.
'The sight of elderly people being, in effect, evicted because they were no longer making a profit for their home owners is a scandal which should not be allowed to continue. Unless the government takes steps to deal with this, the elderly and the staff who care for them will be the losers.'
(See also LGCnet CALL FOR GOVERNMENT TO ACT ON 'GROWING AND ALARMING NUMBER OF RESIDENTIAL AND CARE HOME CLOSURES'.)
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