Coronavirus Social Care: Prior to the crisis, the care sector was already in a precarious state – as a result of chronic underfunding, an unstable market system and workforce shortages – with successive governments failing to take meaningful action. The pandemic has made it clearer than ever that there is an urgent need for an entirely different, more ambitious approach to care .
This UNISON document looks at the impact of the pandemic on the sector, why we need a new system for social care, and the actions that need to be taken in pursuit of a national care service.
Mike Kirby, UNISON Scottish secretary, said: “If this pandemic has taught us anything it is that competent, confident properly rewarded workforces improve the quality of care they can provide. In short, improving training, standards, pay and fair working conditions improves the lives of vulnerable people who rely on care services.
“For too long the care system has been weighted towards price and profit. Underpaid, undervalued and undermined staff are at breaking point. The Covid-19 crisis has exposed just how desperately the care sector needs reform.
“The NHS must be it’s inspiration. Any reform must build on the few positives to come from the pandemic – that care staff are highly skilled people, providing quality care, despite the many challenges they face.
“Never again should there be vulnerable people dying in their thousands in care homes because of poor planning, ignorance, or the pursuit of profits. Fundamental reform to create a system fit for the future is not optional it is essential. Ensuring the resources to provide care for all who need it and investment in communities not tax havens”