Social Care and the Cuts

Back to all Motions

2012 Local Government Service Group Conference
15 February 2012
Carried as Amended

Conference condemns the failure of political leaders across the UK to grasp the nettle and implement a long-term sustainable solution to the funding deficit in social care.

The numbers of people who need care and support are continuing to grow as a result of our ageing population and medical advances which have improved life expectancy. But the availability of quality care services is shrinking.

The impact of cuts is devastating for individuals and families whose quality of life depends on social care support, and for the hard-working dedicated staff who provide it.

1)Eligibility is being tightened;

2)Charges are being increased;

3)Early intervention and prevention services are being cut;

4)There is greater strain on families and carers, and on local charities;

5)The economic crisis is creating greater need;

6)Privatisation continues to drive down care standards and reliability of services;

7)The ‘casino care’ market in social care has failed leaving thousands of vulnerable people and staff fearful for the future;

8)Low pay, poor conditions and lack of training are endemic;

9)Personalisation policies are driving cuts and workforce casualisation.

Conference calls on the Service Group Executive to:

a)Highlight the importance of workforce issues in UNISON responses to government proposals on future funding, regulation and legislative frameworks for adult social care – including the Social Care White Paper in England, and the 10 year plan for Social Services in Wales;

b)Campaign for more robust monitoring and action by the care regulators on workforce training and qualification standards;

c)Work with the Health SGE to gather evidence about the experience of integrated health and social care service including impacts on terms, conditions and pensions; job losses; professional issues; and service quality;

d)Work with the Health SGE to develop common positions in relation to cross-cutting issues such as workforce regulation and standards for care workers and healthcare assistants;

e)Develop alliances at national, regional and local level with other trade unions and service user organisations to campaign against cuts, and in favour of sustainable investment and action to tackle low pay and poor conditions;

f)Continue to campaign about the impact of personalisation policies on the quality and reliability of services, on safeguarding of vulnerable people and on the workforce;

g)Develop an organising strategy and resources for Personal Assistants employed under direct payments and their employers;

h)Gather evidence on the funding systems underpinning personal budgets and the impact of “outcomes” based commissioning;

i)Highlight the fall-out from market failures such as Southern Cross and campaign for public ownership and delivery of care services;

j)Develop and disseminate an effective organising strategy targeting workers in the private sector, including exploring effective use of social media;

Conference also calls on all Regions to establish regional forums to take forward work programmes on social care and homecare issues, and feed into the work of the SGE’s national social care and homecare forums.