UNISON, the UK's leading pubic sector trade union, today welcomed the greater emphasis placed on quality of care, and the aspiration to make care free at the point of delivery, set out in the social care White Paper.
(Media-Newswire.com) - UNISON, the UK’s leading pubic sector trade union, today welcomed the greater emphasis placed on quality of care, and the aspiration to make care free at the point of delivery, set out in the social care White Paper.
However, the union warned that cuts taking place in adult social care departments across the country, will undermine any efforts to improve services.
The union also warned that a voluntary system for regulating care workers is not likely to take off unless there are mandatory requirements for employers on pay, conditions and training levels.
Helga Pile, UNISON national officer for social care, said:
“By placing a greater emphasis on the workforce, the government has recognised the key role people working in social care play in delivering high quality services, and the urgent need to make this a more attractive and stable line of work.
“The greater emphasis on quality, the aspiration to end the postcode lottery and make care free at the point of delivery, are important steps towards improving the state of social care in England.
“However, with waves of deep cuts sweeping through local authorities, particularly hitting adult social care, these efforts risk being undermined. Widespread privatisation, based on selling care off to the lowest bidder, will also stand in the way of making progress.
“It is difficult to see how voluntary licensing will work. Some of the working conditions in privatised social care are shocking. Despite only paying the minimum wage, they regularly charge workers for uniforms, or even for sewing on badges. And many homecare providers don't pay staff for the time they must spend travelling between clients. It is highly unlikely that these employers will support their staff to become licensed unless they have to.
“UNISON would like to see all care workers guaranteed access to training and qualifications, as well as strict guidelines on pay and conditions. This will quickly lead to people getting a higher standard of care.”
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