The Scottish Government’s troubled National Care Service Bill faced a further blow last week as UNISON, the UK’s biggest union called on the Scottish government to withdraw the Bill. The call came from a resolution approved at the UNISON annual conference being held in Liverpool.
The policy adopted by the Union, which is the largest in local government and the NHS , included a commitment to campaign to have the Bill withdrawn and the belief that care should be delivered on a not-for-profit basis.
Criticisms of the Bill made at the conference included that it will not solve the recruitment and retention crisis in the care sector and will extend a contracting culture in public services and responsibilities are removed from both councils and the NHS are powers are transferred to Ministerially appointed quangos.
Kate Ramsden a social worker in Aberdeenshire and member of UNISON’s National Executive told the conference: “The NCS (Scotland) bill offers nothing at all to our social care members but, if passed, will devastate local government by taking staff, functions and services out of councils and giving them to unelected quangos.
“Simply put, it is the biggest threat to local government in Scotland that we’ve ever faced. It has serious implications for the NHS too. It’s an outsourcer’s charter which will expand rather than remove the market in care and will re-create the purchaser/provider split in the NHS. There is also nothing about the investment in frontline services that we all know is desperately needed.
“We need to kick profit out of care and scrap the National Care Service Bill”.