Care home denies pay accusations

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Fresh allegations that St Andrews Care Home is short-changing its staff have this week been vehemently denied by bosses.

A staff member, who wants to remain anonymous, contacted the Hawick News this week and claimed that workers at the Stirches facility are once again not being paid – an accusation levelled at senior managment last September, when the home hit the headlines following a poor Care Inspectorate report and the suspension of new admissions.

The email sent to the Hawick News stated: “I thought you might be interested to know that staff are not being paid again at St Andrews Care Home. Some are being underpaid and in some cases not at all, and staff are leaving and looking elsewhere.”

But these accusations have been fiercely refuted by Bradford-based owners Park Homes, who claim the home is operating to the highest standard.

Managing director Jason Sykes told the Hawick News: “We are the best care home service in the Hawick area and our latest inspection reports show that we are committed to high quality care and improvement. The fact we are always full is testament to the fact that local people and their families trust the high quality of care provided by our nurses and care staff.”

Mr Sykes says the team is lead by one of the “most experienced” home managers in Scotland, who is also a highly regarded nurse. And dismissing claims over lack of pay, he stated: “All our staff are, and have been for many years, paid their full salaries promptly and on time.”

However, local MSP John Lamont has also received complaints about the home, and says several of his constituents are becoming “increasinly concerned”. He added: “Some staff are reporting they have been underpaid for months, and despite going to management say that nothing has been done.

“This is simply not good enough, and it’s no wonder employees are leaving. There can be no doubt we need to find an urgent solution to this problem.” But Mr Sykes added: “It is a shame that your newspaper and local MSPs are used successfully by one or two employees as a forum to discuss employment-related matters.”

Park Homes plan to meet Mr Lamont as soon as possible.