Scottish Government moves to integrate
health and social care when providing
services for older people, should be
about improving services not about cutting
The STUC will seek talks with
the Scottish Government to demand that
public services remain under democratic
control and to ensure that any attempts
to open up the NHS to privatisation are
stopped and that service users and staff
are at the heart of decision making.
overwhelmingly supported UNISON’s
motion, as Lilian Macer, UNISON Scottish
Convenor told delegates that UNISON supports
a "seamless provision of health and care
pathways with quality as the central
plank and principle driving any changes.
Quality - not the desire to cut budgets
is at the heart of so many
so called reforms."
The Governments proposals will see
the abolition of the current Community
Partnerships and the introduction of
new Community Health and Social Care
"This sounds harmless enough -
but these new statutory bodies will be
by a single individual - the Jointly
Officer - responsible for a multi
million pound budget of public money", said Lilian.
"Technically accountable to both to
both the Local Authority and the Health
the, so called, Jointly Accountable Officer
will in reality be accountable to no
one", she added.
"Congress - UNISON , indeed
this whole movement, are advocates
properly funded public services, democratically accountable to local communities.
But there is precious little democratic
accountability in these proposals.
are not opposed to reform - or measures
that will make services responsive
to the needs of those who use them. But
we have enough, sometimes bitter, experience
of centrally managed structurally driven,
top down changes to know that they seldom
deliver on their promises."
For real reform and for effective change
for a better service, staff engagement
and involvement is essential.
comes when Staff and service users
work together planning how services
should be delivered."
This won’t happen in the
same way in every locality - so it is
that any legislation brought forward
leaves Health Boards and Councils enough
flexibility to determine arrangements
and structures that match local needs.
"And most importantly", said Lilian,
"ensures that any new structures cannot
act as a Trojan
horse for a further wave of outsourcing
or privatisation of vital public services.
evidence shows that top down reorganisation
won’t produce real integration. The
focus must be on joint outcomes - agreed
with local partners And relevant to their
local circumstances. The proposals must
have at their core the desire to improve
services – not cut costs", Lilian
17 April 2013