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Date: 18 April 2012

UNISON calls for a coherent strategy for social care services

Launch of UNISON Scotland social care manifesto for local government elections

Councils need a coherent strategy to ensure the sustainability of social care services, says UNISON. Launching the union's social care manifesto for May's local elections today (Wednesday), UNISON Scotland's Depute Convener Stephen Smellie said councils need to focus on putting care before cost.

Stephen Smellie, UNISON Scotland Depute Convener, said: "Social care staff are expected to perform miracles by helping people to change their lives. But increasing levels of unemployment, homelessness and poverty place ever greater demands on services and staff are constantly overstretched.

"We'll be challenging all the candidates in the forthcoming elections on their commitment to social care, and asking them to support the principles in our manifesto. We want to know that they are committed to putting care before cost when it comes to delivering the services that people depend on."

Dave Watson, UNISON's Scottish Organiser, said: "Budgets are continually being cut and this has led to real fears about the sustainability of services. Councils need a coherent strategy for care services to reverse cuts in funding, boost staffing levels and cut service charges.

"Care services continue to be designed and imposed from above and this needs to change. People need to have a real say in how services are delivered in their communities and the only way to ensure that is to put users and staff at the heart of service design and delivery."


Notes to editors

1. You can download a copy of the UNISON Scotland social care manifesto online at http://www.unison-scotland.org.uk/socialwork/minimanifesto.pdf. UNISON Scotland's local government manifesto can also be found online at http://www.unison-scotland.org.uk/publicworks

2. For more information contact:

  • Dave Watson, UNISON's Scottish Organiser, on 07958 122 409.
  • Stephen Smellie, UNISON Scotland's Vice Convener, on 07740 096 864.
  • Trisha Hamilton, UNISON's Communications Officer, on 0141 342 2877 or 07939 478 461.

Alternatively, please visit our website at http://www.unison-scotland.org.uk