Jonathan Barter backs UNISON’s call for a national care service

“A National Care Service is essential, not just for those needing care now but for those who will need it in the future”

Jonathan Barter, Labour’s parliamentary candidate for Tiverton and Minehead, has added his support to UNISON’s campaign for a new national care service.

UNISON wants a new service based on high quality care and a fairly rewarded workforce. The union believes the reforms would put an end to 15-minute home care visits, long waits for care packages, and low wages for staff.

A national care service would also mean the quality of care is of the same high standard, no matter where in the country it was being provided, says UNISON.

UNISON is calling on every candidate who has been selected to stand in English parliamentary seats at the next general election to sign up too.

Jonathan Barter said: “Care is often undervalued in our society. The professional, economic, and personal importance of carers must be championed. Their skills and professionalism are often overlooked in the rush to cut costs or maximise profit. Too many care workers are underpaid, overworked, and unable to do their jobs effectively.

“People face unprecedented challenges in sourcing home care, especially in rural areas, causing distress and anxiety. Many carers cannot get respite, waiting times for assessments are too long, and local authorities struggle to source care. The system is broken.

“It doesn’t have to be like this.

“A National Care Service is essential, not just for those needing care now but for those who will need it in the future. Adult social care is more than just a rising number on our Council Tax bills; it speaks to the heart of our society and its values. I support UNISON’s campaign for a National Care Service to ensure high-quality care for everyone and fair rewards for carers.”

UNISON South West regional secretary Kerry Baigent said: “Social care is broken. The current fragmented and privatised system is unfit to meet the needs of everyone who needs support. But a better way is possible.

“Care workers are the beating heart of a system that should be able to look after everyone’s loved ones with compassion and kindness. But without the cash or sufficient staff, the sector is struggling to deliver, putting unbearable pressure on the NHS and families.

“If the country is to have a care service of which it can be truly proud, care workers must be valued, recognised and rewarded as the skilled professionals they are.”