Unison set to oppose care trusts

Unison members working in local government have voted to oppose
the establishment of NHS care trusts, writes Gideon

They are concerned that social care services will be transferred
to trusts which have ‘no local democratic accountability and
a management culture dominated by the medical

Delegates at the Unison local government service group
conference in Brighton voted unanimously to make a stand.

The motion stated: “Unison members are … insulted by the
suggestion that their services can only be improved by transferring
their management to NHS bodies – an assumption which is not
supported by any analysis or evidence.”

Tess Green of Unison in Bristol, who proposed the motion, said:
“In care trusts the medical muddle of care will prevail. In social
care we must not treat people like patients.”

The conference also voted to continue to campaign for reform of
the government’s Best Value initiative.

Union members voted to campaign against Best Value’s
emphasis on competition and markets, and its focus on league tables
and performance targets. The motion stated “the Best Value regime
is in conflict with the government’s social inclusion
agenda”, and speakers criticised the initiative for its “increasing
emphasis on privatisation”.

Deborah McKelvine from the southern region Unison branch said:
“It is so important we oppose Best Value. We all know as local
government service workers, that the public sector is the only way
to deliver quality services.”

* Haringey social workers, who are to make a submission to the
Laming inquiry into the death of Anna Climbie, have invited social
workers across the country to contribute with the details of
problems they face in their own regions.

Pauline Bradley, Haringey social services convenor for Unison,
said: “Frontline workers don’t usually get heard at all.”

She criticised the media for initiating a witch-hunt of Haringey
social workers involved in the Climbie case, and said the child had
been a victim of “conveyor belt social work” brought about by
under-funding and continual management changes.






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