By UNISON general secretary Christina McAnea
Social care is broken. Despite it being an essential service that should be the cornerstone of a compassionate society, the Westminster government has washed its hands of it.
It has been allowed to deteriorate into a fragmented, underfunded and privatised system that’s unfit to meet the needs of social care users. The inadequate pay and conditions for the workers propping up the system, fail to recognise their value and contributions.
UNISON knows that care workers are the beating heart of social care, and is proud to represent so many working in care homes and communities.
Care workers should be able to look after everyone’s loved ones with the best care and kindness. But without the cash or sufficient staff, the sector is struggling to deliver and it’s putting unbearable pressure on the NHS and families.
But a better way is possible. A national care service is the radical change needed to fix social care. A service that everyone can be proud of.
Care users would be able to access the right care when they need it, their families would be reassured and able to continue working, and care workers would be truly valued, recognised and rewarded as the skilled professionals they are.
It’s in everyone’s best interest that England has a national care service. Labour has already pledged to create a national care service and a fair pay agreement in the sector.
I met with Wes Streeting MP, the shadow secretary of state for health and social care, who is the first to sign up to UNISON’s national care campaign pledge and is committed to delivering a service with the same respect as the NHS.
As we head towards a general election, UNISON is asking all parliamentary candidates in English seats, to join our campaign and publicly pledge their support.
The article UNISON opinion: A better way is possible for social care first appeared on the UNISON National site.