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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