- 2017 National Delegate Conference
- 14 February 2017
- Carried as Amended
Conference, there are three areas of concern. The crisis in Social Care, the underfunding of our NHS and decimation of our Community Care services, all combine to create a perfect storm.
The scale of the problems now faced by adult social care providers are enormous, and are the direct result of massive Government cuts to funding. The National Care Association has said that we are now beyond the crisis point and are now on the edge of a cliff.
A survey by UNISON found that 65 per cent of homecare, residential support and day services staff said they has less time to spend with those they care for because of staff shortages and 36 per cent said rationing of supplies had increased as a result of budget cuts.
The Local Government Association estimates that the gap in social care funding will be at least £2.6 billion unless the Government urgently injects more cash into the service.
Raising Council Tax will not be enough to solve the problems and will only place the lowest paid under even more financial pressure. Net Social Care expenditure has dropped in real terms from £8.1 billion in 2005-6 to £6.3 billion, a drop of a fifth. This is further exacerbated by the national shortage of community health care workers and nurses creating gaps in the services to our most vulnerable citizens.
Recruiting and retaining staff is crucial to our NHS and the campaign of denigration and vilification of the NHS by Government Ministers combined with years of pay cuts and a lack of real terms pay increases has led to a situation where staff are leaving the NHS and critical posts in our emergency departments cannot be filled.
As our underfunded hospitals struggle to function because of further Government cuts, they are faced with having nowhere to send elderly patients when their treatment is complete. They cannot find beds in the hospitals but they also cannot discharge them to the community as the services are not there to support them.
This leads to a crisis situation as beds are blocked and people are forced to stay in hospital. It is creating an intolerable vicious circle and only a clear policy of properly funding social care and health services together with a coherent plan for the integration will begin to address this crisis.
Conference therefore resolves to:
1)Campaign for properly and adequately funded Health and Social Care Services;
2)Promote and publicise within our national, regional and local press and media our NHS and Social Care Champions;
3)Continue to oppose cuts to jobs and services within Health and Social Care.