Union criticises Select Committee for failing to recommend legislation in social care


The GMB has accused MPs of bottling a decision on social care by refusing to call for the industry’s regulation.

The union is concerned a report by the Health Select Committee stays silent on the regulation of the companies providing care, and so protecting users from another Southern Cross and examining the role of private equity-owned AA.

GMB national officer Justin Bowden said: “Social care, and how as a society we look after our elderly and vulnerable, is one of the great, unresolved questions of our time. The Commons Health Committee Report on Social Care dips a toe into the water of reform but doesn’t appear brave enough to take the plunge.

“Of course there needs to be greater integration, and the Committee is right to highlight the funding crisis and the funding gap, but it falls short in many respects. It fails to call for statutory minimum entitlements of care.

“It stays silent on the regulation of the companies providing it and so protecting users from another Southern Cross. It does not challenge the profit before people driven market – most recently epitomised by the arrival on the scene of the private equity owned AA as they pick up the scent of public money to finance their private equity debts in the new feeding frenzy around so-called “‘personalisation’.

“At the sharp end the report completely shies away from the crippling debts of Four Seasons and others in the post Southern Cross landscape where little has changed and no-one in Government has the imagination or foresight to consider alternatives like mutuals or social enterprises”.

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