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Highlands and Islands MSP Rhoda Grant presses the Scottish Government to bring stricken HC-One care homes under public ownership following this week's announcement that the operator plans to sell 10 of its Scottish properties


By Ian Duncan

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Rhoda Grant.
Rhoda Grant.

A Highlands and Islands MSP has called for care homes which are up for sale to be brought under public ownership.

Rhoda Grant has contacted Jeane Freeman, the Cabinet Secretary for Health, by email this morning.

The move followed news earlier this week that HC-One is planning to sell 52 of its UK properties – including 10 in Scotland.

Mrs Grant is urging the Scottish Government to take the homes in Scotland under local authority control.

However a spokeswoman from HC-One said that, while the company was planning to sell 52 of its UK properties, it was also planning to refurbish more than 200 of its care homes, alongside an ongoing new build programme.

In her email Mrs Grant wrote: "I am writing to urge you to press your government to bring the care homes in Scotland which are going on the market under public ownership.

“This move would show real commitment from the Scottish Government to meet the promise it made in its Programme for Government to support Scottish Labour’s visionary plan for a National Care Service.

“The move by HC-One to sell off those care homes will be terrible news for worn out key workers and will affect them very badly, and it will be causing stress and anxiety for vulnerable service users, and their worried families. I am deeply concerned and would urge the government to step in."

She said that she agreed with the GMB union when it said: "The announcement that one of our biggest social care providers is having to sell off and transfer care homes during the biggest public health crisis in all our lifetimes just shows how badly in need of repair our social care system is."

Mrs Grant said: "Please bring the homes being sold under local authority control with the Scottish Government funding the transition costs. A properly funded national care service has never been so vital.”

Related article: GMB union reacts to news that care home operator HC-One, which has homes in Inverness and Invergordon, plans to sell 10 of its Scottish properties

Related article: UPDATE: Care home operator HC-One, which has homes in Inverness and Invergordon, responds to criticism from the GMB union over its plans to sell 10 of its Scottish properties


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