Dignity in old age campaign

UNISON has signed up to the Dignity Code and Fair Care Campaign launched by the National Pensioners Convention.

The code aims to uphold the rights and personal dignity of older people while ensuring their health, safety and well being at a time when they are increasingly less able to care for themselves or to properly conduct their affairs.

“All the evidence shows that we cannot get care on the cheap without adversely affecting the quality of services, placing service users at more risk, increasing the burden on families and reducing the majority of care workers to a precarious and unregulated low paid workforce,” said UNISON general secretary Dave Prentis. And referring to the government’s spring white paper, he said “we now have an opportunity to make fundamental reforms to create a long term sustainable funding settlement for our future care service. I hope you will join us in supporting the NPC’s Dignity Code and Fair Care Campaign.”

The campaign sets out the following principles to secure a care service fit for the future:

  • creating a national care service alongside the NHS, funded through general taxation and based on medical and care needs rather than ability to pay
  • holistic assessments to determine need to be carried out by medical and social care professionals in consultation with the individual
  • improved standards of care, through better monitoring and regulation and enhanced training and staff conditions
  • greater protection and specific legislation covering the issues of elder abuse
  • a return of the majority of social care provision to the public sector.

UNISON’s health and social care members – who range from paramedics, nurses, midwives, occupational therapists, mental health support workers, health care assistants, social workers, care workers, medical secretaries, scientific and technical staff, caterers, cleaners, porters and auxiliary workers – are issued a Duty of Care handbook which enables our members to be the proud guardians of safe and effective health and care services.