Wednesday, October 12, 2005

NGD calls on Minister to make statement after Union walk-out

New Gibraltar Democracy leader Charles Gomez has called on Minister for Social Services Yvette del Agua to make a public statement "setting out the current position relating to care of the disabled in Gibraltar."

Mr Gomez has expressed concern following the problems in the state of care provision in the Social Services Agency as highlighted by the TGWU.

And he has also called on the Minister to say when the Agency's facilities were last inspected by an outside agency and for these findings to be published.

Mr Gomez said that apart from the employees' legitimate interests there may be deficiencies in the quality of care currently being afforded to users of the service.
He said:

"This is a matter of particular importance and sensitivity.

I note that the Union complain about issues relating to salary and conditions of employment, manning levels and shortage of staff in the care centres. The Union also refers to the employment of "supply workers.

I understand that the provision of respite facilities to families of disabled citizens has for months been discontinued.

Given the lack of established procedures in this area, affected people are left with the impression that such services as are available, are offered on an ad hoc basis so that they feel uncomfortable about being perceived to "rock the boat" in case this should prejudice their access to those facilities."

Mr Gomez adds that although this may not be intentional, "in the circumstances people might think in this way."


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