By Lucy Ashton

 Jackie Baillie, MSP for Dumbarton Constituency, has said that care homes are “at breaking point” as new figures show capacity in homes falling amid a growing workforce crisis.

Statistics published for 2021 show the number of care homes in Scotland has plummeted by a fifth in the last decade, with the number of registered places falling by more than 2,000. There has been a 20% reduction in the number of care homes in West Dunbartonshire between 2011 and 2021 while Argyll and Bute has seen a 33% reduction.

Since the start of the pandemic alone, 33 care homes have closed and 400 spaces have been lost.

This comes as workforce shortages continue to wreak havoc across the sector, placing immense pressure on care homes, community services and the wider NHS.

Jackie Baillie, pictured right,  has reiterated her calls for the SNP to tackle the crisis by improving standards and ensuring social care staff are paid at least £15 per hour.

Jackie Baillie MSP said:  “Years of neglect under the SNP have left care services in Scotland to crumble.  Now the growing workforce crisis has pushed services to breaking point.

“Covid and Brexit may have exacerbated these issues – but they didn’t create them.  Years of mismanagement under the SNP left services on the brink and now we are seeing the consequences.

“Staffing shortages are driving this emergency, and it is little wonder after so many years of shoddy pay and conditions.

“We need to act now to give carers a fair deal, starting with pay of at least £15 an hour.”

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