Wednesday 18 June 2014

Privatisation warning on social care integration

#uNDC14 Margo Cranmer from Lanarkshire Health warned Conference today that the commitment UNISON has won in Scotland of no privatisation in the NHS needs to be delivered for the integration agenda as well.

Backing a wide-ranging motion pledging a campaign to defend our NHS, Margo paid tribute to the Scottish Health Committee for “their relentless campaigning that has led to all political parties saying there will be no privatisation of the NHS in Scotland.”

But she warned of the ‘clear and present danger” of privatisation with home care services in some local authorities have been privatised.

“We must remain vigilant as the voluntary and private sector will be sitting round the table contributing to decisions on services”, said Margo.

“The fear is that financial implications and profit will be the focus and UNISON must ensure that we oppose any decisions that would have any negative impact on public services and UNISON members.”

Margo was moving an amendment to a campaigning motion underlining the need for an NHS based on its founding principle of free at the point of delivery. It pledged to fight privatisation, campaign for fair pay and, where possible, to cancel PFI contracts that one delegate said were: 'bleeding the health service dry'.

It also pledged to work with UNISON Labour Link to feed the union's views into Labour's plans for Whole Person Care.

Ayrshire and Arran Health's Ewing Hope, speaking for the Health Service Group, reminded delegates that no party said before elections they would privatise the NHS - but they consistently have. The NHS was not just ours to protect, not just UNISON's to protect. "The NHS is everyone's to protect", said Ewing.

He spoke of the crisis staff are facing due to cuts. "We know the stresses staff are under. Leaving work in tears from frustration", said Ewing. The pay campaigns was as much about morale as pay.

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