I am in Manchester at the UNISON conference fighting for Public Services for those providing and those receiving. Late this morning a care worker in an Elderly Peoples Home posted on Facebook Bristol City Plans to close the Elderly Peoples Homes and Day Care centre provision. Last week the in-house Homecare workers were told they could be redeployed into the empty posts in these care homes which the Council have announced today could be closed.
What the press release hasn't said is the way the Council has sat on the Commissioning Teams and the Social Work Teams over the last few weeks to ensure that all packages of care have been allocated to the private providers. This is not about service users choice but back door privatisation of the public services those service users rely upon. To drive down costs and to reduce the wages of these complex services to minimum wage.
This has nothing to do with quality but everything to do with cost. The Council has done this at a time when Bristol has been put on the map with the dreadful practices the private sector has allowed in the Care hospital in Winterboune near Bristol that made the entire country sick when it was exposed on Panorama.
At a time when Southern Cross is failing the 30,000 older people in their care and the latest reports that the predominately private sector now delivering Homecare is found to be failing older people in their own homes.
This is the right time now for those who provide public services and those receiving them to say enough is enough. When the bill for the war in Libya has cost 250 million, when we have big business making bonuses again that would pay for nurses and carers for our most vulnerable then we need to tell the Tory Government enough is enough. If we collect the unpaid billions of taxes from the rich the poor can be adequately cared for and those that provide that care can be given the decency at work they deserve for the important work they do.
I hope the 1700 workers in Bristol that this announcement today affects join forces and take on the Council to rethink this madness.
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