Integrated Care – Health and Social Services

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2003 Health Care Service Group Conference
1 December 2002
Carried as Amended

This Conference reaffirms its policy of opposition to the establishment of Care Trusts, and in particular expresses its concern over plans to create specialised services in the form of Children’s Trusts and Care Trusts for elderly people’s services. This Conference is committed to the use of Health Act Flexibilities, including Section 31 Partnerships, as being the vehicle to deliver integrated health and social care. Conference further confirms the importance of joint working with the local government service group, at all levels of UNISON’s organisation, in order to address the policy, bargaining and organisational issues that result from the integrated care agenda.

Conference notes the lack of detail about how Care Trusts will be affected by the following:

a)Governance arrangements and accountability to both health and local government;

b)The performance management regime including the star rating system;

c)VAT regulations;

d)Financial deficits in one or other of the partner organisations;

e)Significant structural change in new organisations without the necessary resources and capacity to manage change as well as to develop partnership working and deliver service improvements.


Conference therefore instructs the Service Group Executive to:

1.Encourage joint working at all levels of the organisation by participating in joint working groups, or other appropriate forums, between the health and local government Service Group Executives at national and regional levels;

2.Support branches to work jointly and co-operatively where integrated care initiatives are either currently in place or in development;

3.Develop bargaining guidance that assists branches to deal with the more complex negotiating arrangements that result from integrated working and to provide appropriate advice on dealing with contractual issues that arise from partnerships;

4.Work jointly with local government to identify and share best practice examples of partnership working under Section 31 arrangements, and to commission appropriate research on the performance of Care Trusts;

5.Work with branches to identify how the communication and information needs of members can be addressed in a Section 31 Partnership;

6.Develop campaigning materials and guidance that branches can use to oppose the creation of Care Trusts.