Care homes chains operating in Scotland have had hundreds of complaints upheld by inspectors in recent years, The Ferret can reveal.

Data we obtained via freedom of information from the Care Inspectorate shows that 7,086 alleged issues at care homes were raised between April 2020 and March 2023 – 706 were upheld as legitimate complaints and enforcement action was taken 32 times.

Issues have included poor “health, welfare and safety”, filthy living conditions, residents going weeks without being washed, “unsafe” food and drink intake, missed hospital appointments, and mismanagement of medicines, local reports show. Some incidents led to injuries and even death.

Private firms had nearly triple the rate of complaints per care home compared to the public or third sector. The biggest union representing care workers is among those that argue a publicly owned care sector would stop care homes being treated as “assets to be exploited” and poor conditions for service users and workers.

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