Unite calls for Care Plus to be disbanded after financial miscalculations

Tim Lezard

Care PlusUnite has called for a Lincolnshire adult care organisation to be disbanded and its services returned to the NHS and local government.

The union says continuing financial miscalculations over the last two years by Care Plus – a so-called social business – had resulted in plans to make its more than 800 staff redundant and re-employ them on inferior pay, and terms and conditions, with the resulting adverse impact on patient care.

Unite said that north Lincolnshire – as opposed to the north east of the county – where services had remained with the NHS and the local council had not experienced “the financial chaos now engulfing Care Plus”.

Unite regional officer Dave Monaghan said: “Care Plus shows what happens when the privatisation creed takes hold and a system of expensive overlapping contracts is put in place.

“A series of financial miscalculations over the last two years by the Care Plus management now puts future services for vulnerable adults in north east Lincolnshire under threat.

“The financial chaos now engulfing Care Plus has not happened in north Lincolnshire where these services are run by the NHS and the local authority.

“The case for disbanding Care Plus and returning these services to the public realm is overwhelming – and the NHS and the local council have great experience in working collaboratively and providing integrated services.

“We will be working with other health unions and professional organisations in strongly opposing Care Plus’ plans to sack staff and to re-employ them on contracts with inferior pay and conditions.

“Care Plus uses the NHS logo  and if social enterprises use the logo for branding purposes to provide NHS services, then they should adopt the NHS ethos which includes paying nationally agreed terms and conditions.”

Unite said that Care Plus wants to implement £900,000 of savings in the next financial year 2013/14, on top of the £1.5 million shaved off services in the previous year.

Care Plus provides such services as community nursing, specialist nursing for such conditions as diabetes, drug and alcohol misuse, home care, learning disability and end of life services.

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Tim Lezard

Campaigning journalist, editor of @Union_NewsUK, NUJ exec member; lover of cricket, football, cycling, theatre and dodgy punk bands

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