Looking after sick elderly people shouldn't be considered an industry - profit has no place in caring for vulnerable

Private care homes are in crisis, according to their industry body.

That simple statement, reported in the Scottish media this week, contains a few klaxon-call words.

Crisis, obviously, is intended to set the sirens screaming. But the words “private” and “industry” should also trigger alarm bells.

Should looking after sick elderly people be considered an industry? And should it be in the hands of the private sector at all?

A large number of the residential care companies claiming they “cannot make ends meet” are run for a profit. Some of the bigger ones even pay shareholders.

It therefore sticks in the craw a bit to hear such organisations claim they cannot provide the care they receive large amounts of public money to deliver.

They moan about being told to pay the Scottish living wage to their workers – yet the Scottish Government have provided the money to allow this to happen.

Right across the UK, we are told the care home sector is on its knees. Yet for some entrepreneurs it has been extremely lucrative.

In 2016, three “care multi-millionaires” worth a total of £474million made it on to the Sunday Times Rich List.

They included Keith Bradshaw and his family, estimated by the Rich List to be worth £190million – an increase of £10million on the previous year.

Read the rest of my column here.

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