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2023 National Retired Members Conference
14 June 2023

Conference welcomes UNISON’s new campaign “Let’s Make Care Work” which is campaigning for a National Care Service in England.

Plans for a National Care Service for England were first presented 13 years ago by the last Labour government shortly before it’s election defeat. Since then, adult social care and support has gone downhill fast and there is an ever-increasing adult social care emergency. Even the well-intentioned principles of wellbeing, personalisation and control contained in the Care Act 2014 has not been translated into practice. Funding cuts have left councils struggling to pay enough to secure safe and suitable care, with nothing left over to invest in new facilities.

Conference recognises that older people are directly affected by this crisis in adult social care, whether as users of, or carers within, the care service, or are aware they may need to access care in the future, with all the cost implications that will have on assets, savings and pensions.

On 8th June 2023, UNISON and the Fabian Society launched “Support Guaranteed”, envisaging a long-term solution to the crisis and setting out ten principles which should underpin a new National Care Service including:

• Nationally consistent provision, with an end to postcode lotteries in support and care

• Services for everyone with support needs regardless of their means, and affordable to all.

• Services rooted in local communities and networks of support, delivered by properly resourced accountable local authorities

• Clear legal entitlements with support to help people access their rights

• Support that is integrated with housing, the NHS, DWP and other help whenever necessary

• Choice and control for individuals and their families to lead the life they want in the home they want.

Conference notes this plan is only for England and that different models of adult social care provision is being pursued in the devolved administrations and congratulates UNISON on its opposition to the Scottish Government’s National Care Services (Scotland) Bill, which would leave profiteering at the heart of care in Scotland.

Conference calls on the National Retired Members’ Committee to:

1)Support the campaign for a National Care Service in England

2. Publicise the campaign through regional and branch retired members groups

3. Work with the National Executive Council and other organisations such as the National Pensioners Convention, Age UK and other relevant groups to co-ordinate campaigning for a National Care Service in England

4. Liaise with UNISON Labour Link to lobby for a commitment toa National Care Service in England to be included in the Labour manifesto at the next general election.