CARE homes are surviving on the breadline due to inadequate funding according to a survey.

Scottish Care, which includes many care home members in Glasgow, has said there is a crisis in recruiting and holding on to staff.

Care homes say that paying the Living Wage has put financial pressures on independent care providers and has called for a reform of funding for the sector.

The survey which 160 homes responded to found staff turnover in homes had increased to 22% in the last two years from 17%.

Eight out of ten homes said they had found recruiting nurses more difficult and almost the same percentage said they had current staff vacancies.

Dr Donald Macaskill, Scottish Care, chief executive, said the independent sector was at a critical stage.

He said: “Whilst there is much to be positive about in the description of dedicated care and support, the research also depicts a sector holding on by its fingertips.

“We are struggling to recruit new staff and hold on to existing staff. There is a shortage of nurses which is little short of scandalous. There is a wholly inadequate resourcing of initiatives such as the Scottish Living Wage. Put simply, care homes cannot continue to survive on the breadline. “

The survey found that almost half of all homes rely on the EU as a recruitment pool for staff and two thirds rely on EU countries for recruiting nurses.

Dr Macaskill, said there was an urgent need for action otherwise businesses would go to the wall.

He added: ““There is at the moment a small number of care homes closing because they simply cannot survive.

“It is incumbent on government at local and national level to recognise the real dangers this sector faces today and to respond accordingly or within the year, we will be faced with a real emergency.

“We cannot continue to get care on the cheap.”