Health and Social Care

UNISON Scotland members share their views in Integration Survey

October 27, 2014 by No Comments | Category Survey

Health and care integration is not new in Scotland. There have been a number of initiatives to deliver joint working over the past 12 years, so our members not only have first-hand experience in this area, they also have invaluable views on how it can effectively be delivered.

Earlier this month UNISON Scotland – the largest trade union in the health and social care sector – undertook a survey of health and social care staff to get their views on integration. Throughout the survey members indicated that, while the legislation and its provisions are supported in principle, there are serious concerns about lack of resources, the impact of cuts in resources and the potential quality of services going forward.

Views included:

  • ‘Care in the community is being compromised by lack of adequate resources and people are being left without adequate support.’
  • ‘Cuts are being made in the wrong places and affecting the most vulnerable people.’
  • ‘It [the success of health and care integration] all depends on how things are put in place and who is managing these changes. Done properly, it can be a positive change but I’m concerned they won’t involve front line staff in decisions.’
  • ‘Decisions are being made higher up, with people not realising how they will affect patients and staff on the ground.’

The reality is that if health and care integration in Scotland is to succeed, it needs to focus more on the people who deliver care than structures. To date, the focus has largely been on structural change, but these services are delivered by people, not robots, so greater consideration needs to be given to the workforce concerns highlighted in this survey.

Equally any promise of an improved service must be based on a clear acknowledgement that quality services rely not just on professional and dedicated staff, but on levels of budgeting to support them – without this no amount of good will or organisational innovation will deliver the seamless and quality care that Scotland’s vulnerable need and deserve.

View the full survey – if you have any questions about the results or would like any more information, please email Trisha Hamilton or call 0141 342 2877.


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