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Fears Of Collapse In Care Sector

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

GMB Welcome Additional Funds For NHS As A Start Towards Proper Funding But Fears Slow Motion Collapse In Care Sector Without More Funds

The situation in the care sector is critical as the announcement by Four Seasons of the closure of seven care homes in Northern Ireland makes clear says GMB.

GMB, the union for staff in the NHS and the care sector, commented on the announcement that Health service funding will rise £10 billion a year in real terms by 2020. See notes to editors for copy of story on Press Association.

Rehana Azam, GMB National Officer, said “We have been campaigning for front loading for additional money into the NHS ahead of the Comprehensive Spending Review (CSR). We welcome this injection of funds into the NHS but it stills falls short but is a start nevertheless.

We will wait to see the full impact of CSR and in particular what it will say about funding the care sector.

The situation in the care sector is critical as the announcement by Four Seasons of the closure of seven care homes in Northern Ireland makes clear.

Unless the Chancellor injects the money needed in the care sector I fear a slow motion collapse happening over the coming 18 to 36 months.”

Alan Perry, GMB Regional Officer, added "I have just been informed by Four Seasons Homecare that they will be making a formal announcement today on closing 7 care homes in Northern Ireland.

The reason is down to lack of funding, low occupancy and rising costs. This comes on the back of a home closure here by the company only 4 weeks ago.

I have requested an urgent meeting with the company to discuss this situation facing GMB members and residents in these homes."


Contact: Rehana Azam, GMB National Officer on 07841 181656 or Justin Bowden on 07710 631351 or Alan Perry 07974 018410 or  GMB Regional Officers: Birmingham & West Midlands Pauline Hinks on 07809 617 761, London & East of England Dave Powel 07710 631 349  East Midlands, Les Dobbs on 07966 327 967, North East and Cumbria, Chris Jukes on 07870 176 733, North West, Lisa Ryan 07703 468 968 or Maria Almond 07718 113110, Northern Ireland, Michael Mulholland on 07974 018 413, South East, Nick Day on 07717 510 047, Wales & South West, Paul Gage on 07980 753 117 and Yorkshire, Joan Keane on 07958 156841 or GMB Press Office: 07921 289880 or 07974 251823.

Notes to editors

Copy of text on Press Association dated 23rd November,

George Osborne has agreed to give the NHS a £6 billion spending boost next year amid fears of a deepening financial crisis.

Health service funding will rise £10 billion a year in real terms by 2020 as part of a reform plan - with the bulk of the sum "frontloaded".

The Chancellor was thought to have been resisting calls from NHS England chief executive Simon Stevens for the cash injection to be brought on-stream quickly.

However, he has confirmed that the Spending Review is to allocate an extra £6 billion from 2016-17.

Mr Osborne - who is due to unveil full details of the review alongside his Autumn Statement tomorrow - said: "We promised the British people that their priority was our priority, and we would fund our National Health Service.

"We will deliver £6 billion a year extra investment straight away, as those in charge of the NHS have requested.

"This means I am providing the health department with a half a trillion pound settlement - the biggest ever commitment to the NHS since its creation.

"This will mean world-class treatment for millions more patients, deliver a truly seven-day health service and allow the NHS to implement its five-year plan to transform the services patients receive."

David Cameron added: "This Government is committed to the values of our National Health Service – and with this historic level of investment we are delivering on that by fully backing the NHS's own plan for the future."

Mr Stevens said the settlement - more than the £4 billion boost he had reportedly been demanding for 2016-17 - would "help stabilise current pressures on hospitals".

"This settlement is a clear and highly welcome acceptance of our argument for frontloaded NHS investment," he said.

"It will help stabilise current pressures on hospitals, GPs, and mental health services, and kick-start the NHS Five Year Forward View's fundamental redesign of care.

"In the context of constraints on overall public spending, our case for the NHS has been heard and actively supported."

Mr Stevens' Five Year Forward View reform plan also involves making £22 billion of efficiency savings in areas such as procurement, reducing waste, and reducing avoidable hospital attendances.

The Government has pledged that by 2020 everyone in England will be able to access GP services in the evenings and at weekends.

By the same time all key hospital services are due to operate seven days a week.

Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt said: "For doctors and nurses working harder than ever on the frontline this upfront investment means we can implement the NHS's own ambitious plan to transform services for the future.

"We are passionate about building an NHS that offers the safest, highest quality care anywhere in the world - with services smoothly operating seven days a week. This new money will help us finish the job."


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