Former health secretary Andy Burnham has blasted private social care providers, accusing companies in Manchester of “profiteering” on the backs of the some of the most vulnerable people in society.
Andy Burnham has launched his campaign to become Greater Manchester’s metro mayor, vowing to put an end to the “callous culture” of social care provision in the region.
The Labour candidate has expressed his vision to create the “first fully-integrated national health and care service”, criticising social care providers “that are profiteering, in my view, on the backs of some of the most vulnerable people in society”.
Mr Burnham said health and social care services should be able to provide all care users with a “single point of contact for all their care needs”, adding GPs should be able to provide more wide-ranging support such as counselling.
In his manifesto, developed following consultation with local residents, Mr Burnham says: “Over time, we will bring social care staff into the NHS family, with proper training and support and more opportunities for career progression.
“We will require care workers to be paid the living wage and end the business models that rely on exploitative zero hours contracts.”
Unison reports that Mr Burnham told audience members how one care worker in the region had to make 48 separate care visits over a period lasting more than sixteen hours, with one visit lasting just two minutes.
“That is the reality of social care in our city region and, indeed, around the country”, Mr Burnham said.
He added: “And if that doesn’t bring a sense of utter despair to us all, then I really don’t know what should.”Because not only are the people receiving these visits not being properly cared for, but the people providing them are not being properly cared for either.
”Mr Burnham praised Unison for the role the union has played in “campaigning against the poor quality of social care and particularly domiciliary care”.
“UNISON brought through the Ethical Care Charter, which was the first serious attempt to arrest and reverse the plummeting standards of social care in our country”, said Mr Burnham.
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