Labour’s plans to combine the NHS and social care budgets in England to cater for the needs of an increasingly elderly population have been welcomed by Unite, the country’s largest union.
Unite head of health Rachael Maskell said: “Andy Burnham’s plans to combine mental, physical and social care are to be welcomed, but we would like to see various principles adopted to make this ambitious project work successfully.
“The key principle is that there should be universal access to these combined services and not based on the amount of savings you have. An enhanced national insurance scheme may be the best way to finance this in the decades to come.
“Local councils will be the vehicle to implement these reforms. An important element will be that these large sums, worth £119 billion this year, should be ring-fenced, so that local authorities can’t spend the money on other services, as they may be tempted to do.
“We think that there should be a greater integration of the public health function, so there is a template for providing joined-up services tailored to individual needs from cradle-to-the grave.
“Unite, which has more than 100,000 members in the health service, is keen to work with Andy Burnham’s team to put flesh on the bones of this radical proposal.”
For further information please contact Unite senior communications officer Shaun Noble on 07768 693940
- Unite is Britain and Ireland’s largest trade union with 1.5 million members working across all sectors of the economy. The general secretary is Len McCluskey.