Hampshire UNISON response to HCC Care consultation

The Hampshire County Council Health & Adult Social Care Select Committee will be meeting next week to consider the proposed changes to HCC Care which were subject to public consultation at the end of 2023. Details of the proposals can be found here: info-pack-hcc-care-2023.pdf (hants.gov.uk)
Aside from our consultation with management regarding the impacts on our members directly affected by the consultation, Hampshire UNISON made the following submission to the public consultation:
UNISON and it’s members within the HCC Care service welcome the significant investment which the local authority is making under these proposals to help meet the increasing demand for specialist dementia care. We are hopeful that the scale of the investment is a sign of Hampshire’s commitment to maintain in-house care services into the future. We are also reassured by the measures which it has been confirmed will be taken to avoid compulsory redundancies among effected staff.
However, we are concerned about the local authority’s withdrawal from standard residential care and believe this to be a retrograde step. Leaving provision to the private sector is detrimental for both workers and residents. We know that staff working for private providers have worse terms and conditions, including inferior pensions and no contractual sick pay. We firmly believe that Council-run services, and those who rely on them, benefit from the democratic accountability of having elected representative bodies responsible for services owned by and run for the public.
Whilst our members agree that work would be required to improve and refurbish the sites at Bishops Waltham, Green Meadows & Solent Mead if they were to remain viable, we are opposed to the closure of these homes. We believe that refurbishment would be a worthwhile expense in order to ensure the continuation of high quality local authority provision in these areas. Members have raised concerns for the welfare of residents and the ability of relatives to easily visit them should the proposals go ahead.
In relation to Cranleigh Paddock & Copper Beeches, we are disappointed to see that proposals have been brought forward for their permanent closure given that they were originally only closed temporarily due to staffing pressures.