Right to Care Campaign

Back to all Motions

2002 Retired Members' Conference
27 June 2002
Carried as Amended

In November 2001, UNISON, with a number of other organisations, launched the Right to Care Campaign.

The aims of the Campaign are as follows:

1)That the Government must introduce personal and nursing care that is free at the point of use and funded from general taxation;

2)That this care should be the entitlement of everyone, wherever in the United Kingdom (UK) they happen to live.

The Campaign makes the following specific demands:

a)The recommendations of the Royal Commission on Long Term Care should be implemented in full;

b)It is unacceptable to charge older or disabled people for essential personal care, means testing of personal care should be ended;

c)The artificial distinction between nursing and personal care should be ended;

d)Good quality personal and nursing care should be provided on the basis of need, free at the point of use in all settings.

This Conference would like to thank the National Executive Council for the support it has given to this important campaign over the last year. The campaign has been successful in raising public awareness of the issue and this was highlighted by the fact that free long term care for the elderly topped the BBC Your NHS Day phone-in poll with over 50 per cent of all the votes recorded. The campaign has enabled UNISON members to make a difference. In Northern Ireland sustained pressure led to the Assembly making a complete u-turn by announcing that free nursing care, which was excluded from the draft budget for 2002-2003 would, after all, be introduced in October 2002. Also an interdepartmental group has been set up to consider the provision of free personal care.

This Conference believes that the campaign continues to be necessary. On 1 July 2002 the Scottish Executive introduced free personal care for all people aged 65 and over who need it, whereas in the rest of the UK, personal care, help with washing, feeding, dressing, going to the toilet and so on, continues to be subject to means testing.

Therefore this Conference requests that the National Executive Council:

i)Continue to support the Right to Care Campaign by extending the participation of the Trades Union Congress (TUC); other relevant organisations and UNISON regions, branches and members;

ii)Use any influence to lobby the Government to fully fund the introduction of free care, throughout the UK, for all with a recognised long term care need.