Responding today (Friday) to the Department of Health and Social Care’s adult social care winter plan, UNISON assistant general secretary Christina McAnea said:
“Care workers who self-isolate or take time off ill need reassurances they’ll get full sick pay. Shameful employment practices and low wages are endemic in the sector. These issues need tackling properly once and for all.
“Making safety kit free for all employers should mean there’s no repeat of the fiasco earlier this year. But the sourcing and distribution of personal protective equipment must be managed centrally for it to work.
“The health secretary’s promise of stricter measures to control care home infections is long overdue. The government has had months to act after effectively abandoning vulnerable residents – and with tragic results.
“A winter plan is necessary but it’s short-term and won’t solve the underlying issues. The government must bring in a national care service to banish profit-making and put workers and the people they look after at its heart.”
Notes for 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 the public, voluntary and private sectors.