- 2017 Local Government Service Group Conference
- 23 February 2017
This conference recognises that buried under the jargon of Sustainability and Transformation Plans, Local Care Organisations, Place-Based Plans and Geographic Footprints there may be potential opportunities for improvements in services by removing artificial barriers between health services provided by the NHS and social care services provided by local government.
However, as is all too common with any policy put forward by this ideologically driven Tory administration, a major restructure of these services combined with massive funding cuts being inflicted on them can only lead to devastated services, decimated staff numbers and worse working conditions for the overworked staff that are left.
All this in an environment where:
1)There have been cuts to local government of £11.3 billion;
2)Adult social care expects a shortfall of £2.6 billion by 2020;
3)The Tories are demanding a £22 billion saving from the NHS by 2020;
4)Nine out of ten hospitals were overcrowded last winter due to a lack of funding.
In these circumstances it is nonsensical to believe that such huge changes can be successful given these hostile conditions.
All our communities deserve quality health and social care services from across the public sector and while integration may help to provide this it can only do so when it is looked at as a programme of improvement rather than yet another chance to strip money from our essential services in order to cut taxes for the idle rich.
The top tenth of households own 45% of total UK personal wealth, while the bottom half are left to share just 9%. The poorest 1%, meanwhile, own just 0.05% of wealth. (ONS 2014 survey).
What we need is full and fair investment in our services.
This conference calls for:
a)A fair funding formula to be immediately brought in that addresses the local social care needs of councils to provide services for the most vulnerable in society;
b)An increase of NHS spending to match the percentage of GDP that is spent on health care by our European neighbour;s
c)A reversal of the privatisation agenda that bleeds funds from our public services;
d)A pay policy for local government and the NHS that properly rewards staff for their vital work and ensures the necessary recruitment and retention of all staff.