Politicians must get a grip on social care and council services

Home health care worker and an elderly couple

Commenting on the Institute for Fiscal Studies report on council funding and tonight’s BBC1 Panorama programme on social care, UNISON general secretary Dave Prentis said:

“After years of relentless cuts, council budgets are stripped to the bone. This is starkly illustrated by the perilous state of social care, not to mention a fall of more than 60% in spending on children’s services and youth centres.

“Delivering a solution that protects services and provides proper care is perhaps the nation’s biggest challenge. But Brexit paralysis at Westminster means it will not be any time soon.

“It’s simply reckless government to expect councils to look after all elderly and vulnerable people on their patch while funding disappears.

“Sadly, it’s often low-paid care workers picking up the pieces. Spending their own money so an elderly person can have tea, working many extra hours to provide the care needed or for a chat with the only face a lonely person will see all week. This is a shocking state of affairs.

“Politicians must get a grip and quickly. That means ministers publishing their long-awaited green paper so we can all at least see they do have a plan, even if they’re incapable of implementing it.”

Notes to editors:
– UNISON is the UK’s largest union, with more than 1.3 million members providing public services – in education, local government, the NHS, police service and energy. They are employed in both the public and private sectors.

Media contacts:
Anthony Barnes T: 0207 121 5255 M: 07834 864794 E: a.barnes@unison.co.uk
Liz Chinchen T: 0207 121 5463 M: 07778 158175 E: l.chinchen@unison.co.uk