National Care Service must end for profit care

Conference backed an NEC call for the union to campaign for a National Care Service in each part of the UK developed in partnership with service users.

Delegates heard about the crisis in social care and supported the need for additional funding to meet the demand on the service. It called for a National Care Service which removes the market and offers a fair work agenda for workers.

Scotland’s amendment clarified our concerns that the current proposals from the Scottish Government will remove legal responsibility for social care from democratically elected councils in favour of quangos, with no attempt to remove the market or the profit motive from social care.

Moving, Scotland’s amendment, Tony Slaven told delegates that proposals for a National Care Service in Scotland included plans to take social care, and social work including adult social care, children and families and criminal justice social work, out of local government control to government appointed quangos, effectively removing the control of vital social care and social work services from local democratic accountability.

“Services that are about supporting people in their community should be accountable to that community.”

He highlighted the problem of private sector provision of care with shareholder profits taking priority over the provision of care to vulnerable people.

UNISON Scotland has pressed for the fair work agenda to be at the heart of a National Care Service and we currently await the publication of the legislation for a National Care Service in Scotland.

“If it’s an attack on local government services, and if it does not address the domination of the private sector, then UNISON in Scotland will oppose it,” warned Tony.

He urged the union to reflect on the experience of Scotland when calling for and seeking to shape a national care service in England, to ensure local accountability is not eroded, to ensure the primacy of the provision of care to the most vulnerable of people in our communities over private sector profit, and to ensure that a national care service doesn’t result in a race to the bottom in relation to the treatment and pay of workers.