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2009 Retired Members' Conference
6 October 2009

Conference notes that in 2008 the Government called a national debate on the future of social care which resulted in the publication in July 2009 of a Green Paper Shaping the Future of Care Together. The paper sets out options for the future development and funding of social care provision based on the creation of the first National Care Service in England.

The key proposals of the National Care Service are to provide everyone in England with consistent standards where everyone has the right to:

·Prevention services;

·National Assessment;

·Integrated services;

·Information and advice;

·Personalised care and support; and

·Fair funding.

Conference further notes that the Government is suggesting three ways in which the National Care Service could be funded in the future which could have a financial impact on older people who need social care:

·Partnership – people will be supported by the Government for around a quarter to a third of the cost of their care and support, or more if they have a low income.

·Insurance – as well as providing a quarter to a third of the cost of people’s care and support, the Government would also make it easier for people to take out insurance to cover their remaining costs.

·Comprehensive – everyone gets care free when they need it in return for paying a contribution into a state insurance scheme, if they can afford it, whether or not they need care and support.

Conference supports the principle of a funded National Care Service to be provided to all who need it on the same universal principles as the NHS and not on the basis of ability to pay or location.

Conference is concerned that the Government has rejected the option of a universal system despite the fact that research shows that free personal care based on need is the preferred option overall (52%) and the most popular option across all age groups”.

Conference therefore calls on UNISON to continue its commitment to support of a universal model of national social care based on the principles of the NHS paid through general taxation and National Insurance and to include this in its response to the Green Paper on social care.