UNISON Northern Ireland


At it’s November meeting, UNISON’s social care forum responded to recent media report where advocacy groups for senior people and independent domiciliary care providers claim that social care provision is crumbling. 

Deborah Yapicioz, UNISON social care forum member said “Our senior clients and patients are remaining in hospital wards and Nursing homes because the Trusts cannot provide appropriate care packages or enough packages directly or through independent providers. Trusts are also not taking on enough new cases to significantly reduce a growing waiting list.  Currently Health Trusts are offering a direct payment option. This takes time to setup and is not a quick fix; neither is the option suitable for many clients. Families are reluctant to use this system and fearful of effectively becoming an employer”.

Anne Speed from UNISON said “The use of a direct pay system raises issues around the training, skills and regulation of those who may provide support. We believe in most cases clients prefer and feel most confident with a Trust staffed domiciliary care service.  She adds “Trends in the privatisation and outsourcing of social care must be reversed with services moving back in-house.  Our Health Trusts must urgently advocate for funding to meet growing levels of need and ensure quality of care.”