Undoing the NHS market a necessary step, but absence of a plan for social care disappointing

A well-funded national care service that mirrors the NHS is needed now

Commenting on the publication today (Thursday) of the health and social care white paper, UNISON head of health Sara Gorton said:

“Scaling back the damaging internal market that forces the NHS to compete against itself and the private sector can’t happen soon enough.

“Eight years ago, the then government was warned its changes wouldn’t work and would tie the NHS up in needless competition and contract drafting. Yet ministers carried on regardless.

“Today’s proposals are at least an admission they got that wrong and the start of a process to undo their costly mistakes.

“But the most disappointing element is what’s missing. The pandemic has laid bare the extent of the social care crisis, yet the sector must now wait many more months before it receives government attention.

“Politicians have talked about integrating health and social care for years. But that can’t happen while care is in a state of permanent crisis.

“A well-funded national care service that mirrors the NHS is needed now. That must be the government’s priority.”

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 the public, voluntary and private sectors.

Media contacts:
Liz Chinchen M: 07778 158175 E: press@unison.co.uk
Garfield Myrie M: 07432 741565 E: g.myrie@unison.co.uk