Scotland is in danger of creating a culture of bargain-basement elderly care, unless £250 million can be found to maintain standards, according to a new report.

The briefing by Scottish Care, the body which represents more than 400 independent providers of residential and nursing care, day care and care at home, warns that it is impossible to provide high quality care on the cheap.

At an event in Glasgow attended by Cabinet Secretary for Health, Jeane Freeman, Dr Donald MacAskill, chief executive of Scottish Care, said the public and some politicians were out of touch with changes in care over the last decade.

Residential and nursing homes are increasingly caring for highly dependent people as cash-strapped councils only fund those with critical or substantial care needs, he said. "Homes are looking after people with neurological conditions, advanced stage dementia, and those needing palliative and end of life care.

"Five years ago these individuals would be in a hospital receiving acute care. Now they in care homes or being looked after at home, which is right, and very often where they want to be.

"But We need to see ring fenced money for care homes and adult social care,” he said. “We are in danger of creating a bargain basement care home sector trying to deliver high quality care on the cheap.”

A Scottish Government spokesman said care homes had received unprecedented support.

x Ref p11