Integration of Health and Social Care

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2016 Health Care Service Group Conference
18 December 2015

This conference supports the integration of health and social care. Integration is the way forward in order to provide a more efficient service for patients/service users, especially in times of imposed economic austerity. Integration is about ensuring that those who use services get the right care and support, whatever their needs, at any point in their care journey. It will benefit patients by moving people out of hospital more quickly, there being a clear process with one professional overseeing the patient’s care.

While our health and social care structure often divides and separates public sector workers – think organisational structures, payment mechanisms and performance targets – we are all in this to improve care for patients. We are at our best when we focus on that.

In Powys there are the beginnings of integration with an integrated health and social care centre in Builth Wells, following this there is now a proposed joint policy for change between the local council and health board. This conference believes that integration cannot be achieved effectively unless there is a clear clarification of roles and functions between health and social care and there is a consensus on how different terms and conditions between staff are negotiated to ensure that we work well with our colleagues across the sectors rather than the differences being divisive and creating barriers to our work and hence the effectiveness of integrated services. Integration should not be used as an opportunity to reduce terms and conditions but an opportunity to work to negotiate the best for our members. A well motivated and fairly treated workforce will provide for our patients, their families and their communities the very best experience through their care journey.

Conference therefore calls upon the Service Group Executive to:

1)Provide negotiating and bargaining advice to branches on how to approach proposed integration to ensure that it is not used as an opportunity by employers to reduce terms and conditions across the sectors.

2)Gather evidence of integration and share best practice.

3)Approach the Local Government Service Group Executive with the aim of working together to ensure that there is a consistent UNISON approach to proposals for integration