A full report back will appear here later from your delegates Kevin Treweeks, Hayley Kemp and Ashleigh Knowles
In the mean time here are the outcomes of all the votes that were taken over the week
One of the themes of both local government and NDC this year was the crisis in social care and the NHS
The scale of the problems now faced by adult social care providers are enormous, and are the direct result of massive Government cuts to funding.
A survey by UNISON found that 65 per cent of homecare, residential support and day services staff said they has less time to spend with those they care for because of staff shortages and 36 per cent said rationing of supplies had increased as a result of budget cuts. The Local Government Association estimates that the gap in social care funding will be at least £2.6 billion unless the Government urgently injects more cash into the service. Raising Council Tax will not be enough to solve the problems and will only place the lowest paid under even more financial pressure. Net Social Care expenditure has dropped in real terms from £8.1 billion in 2005-6 to £6.3 billion, a drop of a fifth.
This is further exacerbated by the national shortage of community health care workers and nurses creating gaps in the services to our most vulnerable citizens. It’s not hard to make the link between this and ten years of below inflation pay rises, stiffer performance targets and management pressure. People are leaving social work, nursing and other related professions and too few people want to take on such extensive training for such scant reward.
As our underfunded hospitals struggle to function because of further Government cuts, they are faced with having nowhere to send elderly patients when their treatment is complete. They cannot find beds in the hospitals but they also cannot discharge them to the community as the services are not there to support them. This leads to a crisis situation as beds are blocked and people are forced to stay in hospital. It is creating an intolerable vicious circle and only a clear policy of properly funding social care and health services will allow coherent plans for the integration will begin to address this crisis.
What we have instead is STP, a cuts driven lunge at so called efficiency savings by pushing different authorities together in the hope that some economies of scale can be achieved. The proposed DELT transfer announced by PCC as this magazine was being prepared for press is part of this. A “do it to them before they do it to us” tilt at offering back office services to other councils and health trusts looking to make savings but with no clear idea how.
UNISON sees no contradiction in asking for increased funding both for improved services and improved pay. You won’t get one without the other.