SOS 2016: Cuts to older people’s social care services

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  Do you work for a social care service that supports older people (aged 65+)? Tell us how cuts have affected you at work!

As part of its Save Our Local Services (SOS) campaign, UNISON is embarking on a piece of research that will expose the impact of cuts to social care services for older people on workers and service users.

To do this we need your help! Please complete our survey and tell us how cuts have affected you at work. Your answers will be completely anonymous.

The survey will close on Friday 2nd September 2016

Find out more about this project and the SOS campaign at www.unison.org.uk/saveourlocalservices

Click on this link to begin the survey. Thank you!!

 

PRESS RELEASE – ‘An End to direct Council provided Care’

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Monday 27th October 2014

For Immediate release

Coventry City Council is currently considering ceasing being a direct provider of care and support to citizens. A report posted on their website on 9th September (page 24) reveals the council is undertaking work to “understand the costs and benefits” of ceasing to provide a number of services. These services include

  • the promoting independent living service(PILS)
  • Day Opportunities for adults with dementia or learning difficulties
  • Transport (associated with internally provided services)
  • Housing with Care (currently 11 locations in the city)
  • Residential Care
  • Integrated Community Equipment services (providing specialist equipment and aids)

The authority expect this move will reduce the overall cost of social care but could see the loss of in excess of 500 jobs from the council not including the knock on effect on support services to these areas.

UNISON Coventry District Branch, whose motto is “for public service not private profit” is concerned about the impact of these forthcoming decisions upon their members their jobs and the quality services they provide to the most vulnerable in the city. Consistently the impact of local authority budget cuts falls upon the most vulnerable in our communities and those on the lowest pay. The report also highlights the vital role libraries are to play as part of the social care support provision in the city in delivering information and advice, yet this week it was revealed that Libraries also face closure.

Dawn Palmer-Ward, UNISON Corporate Representative for the People Directorate said

“citizens of Coventry need to be aware of the discussions currently taking place within the city council that will have a drastic impact on the services they rely on. Our members’ jobs aren’t the only things at risk when services are run for profit or cease to run at all. It is of particular concern that yet again low paid female workers are likely to bear the brunt of the local authorities drive to balance the budget.”

ENDS

Notes to editors

The report can be found via the following link

http://www.coventry.gov.uk/downloads/download/3309/adult_social_care_commissioning_and_personalisation_plan_2014

Say NO! to privatisation of children’s social work

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kidsforcash

The government is consulting on proposals to allow all councils in England to outsource almost all their children’s social work.  This could see private contractors taking over services such as child protection.

Social work staff would transfer to the contractors and be subject to competitive tendering every few years.

UNISON says this dangerous move will threaten the quality and accountability of such difficult and sensitive work.

We need your help to try to stop it.

 Last year the government legislated to allow all local authorities to outsource social work functions for looked after children. This was done, despite an independent evaluation of five pilots which found no concrete evidence that outsourcing led to better outcomes.

On the back of this change, the government is now pressing ahead to allow wholesale privatisation of statutory social work including child protection. Neither social work staff nor the public will want to see child protection services entrusted to companies like Serco or G4S.

Allowing contractors to profit from decision-making about children’s futures and appropriate placements will create conflicts of interest when the same companies could also be competing to provide these placements. 

The government dresses this up as a chance for social workers to escape council bureaucracy – but there is plenty of evidence that councils can tackle bureaucracy in-house if they want to free up their social workers. The ongoing difficulties in some local authority children’s services reflect chronic underfunding and 40% cuts to council budgets imposed by the government – but instead of responding to funding needs, the government claims councils are failing and the private sector should step in.

Everything we know about serious cases tells us we need more joined-up working and accountability – not the fragmentation that privatisation will bring.

 The consultation is here: https://www.education.gov.uk/consultations/index.cfm?action=consultationDetails&consultationId=1961&external=no&menu=1

Please could you follow the link to the consultation and take three minutes to respond. Just tick ‘No’ to Question 1 and ‘No’ to Question 2.

You can add in any of your own comments if you want – but the key thing is to click ‘No’ as these are the responses that will be counted.

Hurry, there’s not much time – the consultation closes on 30th May!