Health and care integration delivered by people not robots

Date: Friday 13 September 2013

UNISON, Scotland’s largest public sector union will today argue that if health and care integration is to succeed, it needs to focus more on the people who deliver care than simply structures.

Scottish Government plans for health and care integration are set out in the Public Bodies (Joint Working) Bill that is shortly to be considered by the Scottish Parliament. UNISON Scotland has argued that the Bill gives ministers massive powers to intervene in local democracy, but gives little consideration to staffing issues.

Speaking at the Holyrood health and care integration conference, UNISON Scottish Organiser, Dave Watson will say:

“Health and care is delivered by people, not robots. The Bill and the prior consultation process only gives the staffing aspects of care integration a passing mention. Given the history of health and care integration, with its many initiatives, staff are entitled to be cynical about another shift of the managerial deckchairs without being sidelined.”

Dave Watson will argue that national and local workforce strategies are required, he will say:

“International studies show that tackling people issues are the key to delivering integration. Addressing organisational culture, relationships, respecting professional identity, training and staff engagement have been shown time and time again to be what works. In Scotland, we persist in trying to reinvent the wheel while we muddle through these issues.”

UNISON has set out the key elements of a workforce strategy in its submissions on the Bill. They include practical issues such as staff transfer, pensions, workforce procedures, procurement, equality and a broader staff governance framework.


For further information please contact:
Dave Watson 07958 122409

Notes for editors:

UNISON Scotland evidence to the Health Committee sets out these issues in more detail. PublicBodiesJointWorkingBill_evidencetoHealth+SportCttee_Aug2013.pdf

Our concise briefing on the Bill at b037_BargainingBrief_IntegrationOfHealth+SocialCare_Jun2013.pdf

International evidence to support our argument in SPICE briefing