Unite health visitor Joyce Still warned the Labour Party Conference at a health debate today (September 27) about the impact that government austerity cuts have had on social care and urged the party to continue in its fight against these cuts.
“Health visitors like myself make a holistic assessment of health needs, endeavouring to deliver a first class service,” she explained.
“But despite providing a much needed preventative service the government has made a £200m in- year cut and further deep cuts in the years ahead.
“It puts the future of our health visiting service under an enormous shadow,” Still noted.
She pointed to what has already happened to social care which has “experienced service cuts with devastating consequences.”
She told the story of a friend’s elderly relative, who despite advanced age, chronic health problems and dementia, government cuts have meant their care package has been seriously cut back.
“It has met an end to independence and they will no longer be able to stay in their own home,” Still noted. “This has caused considerable distress.”
Local councillors and MPs were then lobbied to try and get a proper care package.
“But when such severe cuts are being made it becomes about the budget bottom line — not the person,” she argued.
“My concern is that in this circumstance it becomes more about who knows how to effectively lobby — not social care or health needs.
“I am proud that we are a party that stands for ending austerity and for the ending these devastating cuts.”
Watch Joyce Still’s full speech in the video below: