Saturday, May 12, 2007

Home Care - People before Profit

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The biggest issue for the forthcoming first meeting of the new-look Bristol City Council is Home Care. Its possible that unless the Lib Dems change their policy of further privatising Home care, begun originally by a Labour-run council, they could be prevented from forming a minority administration to run the city (if the Labour and Conservative groups vote together that is).

From the start I've felt very strongly that there is and should be no place for private profit in Home Care. It was a mistake some years back for society to separate off meeting basic physical, social and care needs from health care and my ideal would be to see social and health care needs being dealt with in a fully integrated way within the NHS, with all services free at the point of use. We are some way off this position in England of course, not least because of the policies of the current UK Labour Govt.

My position for Bristol is that the Lib Dems must look again at their policy, consulting fully with all Home Care users and workers as well as all other political parties on the council, with a view to abandoning privatisation. This is important not only because of the general case made by the labour movement but also because opposition/doubt goes much wider than this, as the voting pattern at the local elections showed very clearly. Labour gained seats and the highest % of the vote and very clearly stated their opposition to Home Care privatisation.

The new Lib-Dem group has a new leadership and key members, if they really are democrats they should change their policy.