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National Delegate Conference 17-20 June 2008

Would we rather big business looked after our mums and dads, or dedicated carers?

by Kate Ramsden

John McLaughlinHome care services are essential for our most vulnerable groups and should be kept in house to ensure the services are of the highest standards. Conference pledged to step up the campaign to oppose the privatisation of Home Care and to demand a regulatory framework to ensure regular training and proper support for all health and social care staff.

Supporting Comp B on Home Care Services, John McLaughlin, South Lanarkshire, himself a home carer, told conference that the continuing trend to privatise home care services to reduce costs was an attack on thousands of UNISON members in local authority home care.

"However, it also means a continuing deterioration in the quality of services provided to the most vulnerable members of the community," he warned.

"One thing we must do is to ensure that when the private sector is involved, they fulfil the same standards of care and health & safety requirements and have the relevant accreditation to carry out the role to the same standard as local authority home carers," he said, adding that in South Lanarkshire they have used local negotiating fora to successfully push for this.

"We must ask ourselves, would we rather big business looked after our mums and dads, or dedicated carers."