According to Channel 4 News, tonight, the announcement of 3,000 redundancies by private Care Home provider, Southern Cross, is symptomatic of a much wider financial problem, which is already having an effect on the quality of care provided.UNISON, also quoted in the report says,
“Four Seasons, the second biggest care provider is also in severe financial difficulties. If both Southern Cross and Four Seasons were to collapse, around 1,150 nursing and residential care homes would be at risk of closure, affecting nearly 50,000 vulnerable people and their families and hitting over 60,000 staff.”
According to documents seen by Channel 4,
“Headed "draft for agreement - not government policy", the paper sets out how local authorities will have to manage the transfer of residents to alternative care homes.
The industry watchdog, the Care Quality Commission, will "provide intelligence" about the location and quality of any alternative centres.
And central government, along with other responsibilities, should consider setting up a "national helpline" for those worried about family caught up in the crisis.
A Department of Health spokesperson confirmed to Channel 4 News that the government had prepared the document in order to properly plan for every eventuality.”
But, as they point out this is not Government policy, but only a draft for agreement. Given the incompetence this Government has shown from Day 1, and given its propensity to change policy by endless U-Turns, whenever it faces some kind of pressure, this is not very comforting for those worried about their relatives in these care Homes.
But, for that reason alone, we cannot simply wait, and ask the State to intervene as Dave Prentice suggests.
Now is the time for the Labour Movement, and those unions like UNISON most responsible for the provision of Health and Social Care to intervene themselves.
The Labour Movement should begin to occupy the Care Homes now to ensure that they are not closed, jobs are not lost, and residents do not face life threatening disruptions.
These Care Homes constitute a sizeable industry, and the Public Sector unions can again play an important role in ensuring that once the workers have taken them over, they can be brought together into one large Worker Owned Care Co-operative operating throughout the country, and able to benefit from economies of scale.Upper Clyde Shipbuilders is that once in the workers ownership and control, these businesses must not be handed over to the Capitalist State. All experience of such nationalisation is that the Capitalist State will use it to bring about a large scale rationalisation, resulting in mass redundancies and speed-up, ahead of the business eventually being sold-off again to private Capital, once it has been rationalised, and made profitable.
This should mark the beginning of the fightback against the Cuts, against privatisation, and against the Liberal-Tory attacks. A successful campaign of occupations, and the establishment of worker-owned and controlled Care Co-operatives can show how workers in the private and State capitalist sectors can effectively oppose attempts at closures, and reductions in provision. It can show how another, better socialistic, method of running society can be established here and now, without the need for bosses or State bureaucrats.
OCCUPY, ORGANISE, KICK THE BOSSES AND BUREAUCRATS OUT!!!