Coronavirus pandemic – message from Sara Gorton, head of health

Planning and managing the rapidly changing response to the Covid-19 outbreak is having a huge impact on the work of the NHS.

The measures that the Government will introduce for the management of the next phases of the response are likely to also impact on our ways of working within the union at all levels.  I’m sure you and your branch committees are already having discussions about how your activities will be affected so that you can plan how you adapt your working methods, and the same is true within the health team.

In terms of convening national level meetings and health conference, we are following the public health guidance closely.

Delegates and visitors registered for the health conference in April have received an email to let them know that there is a possibility that we may not be able to hold conference as planned, and to reassure them that UNISON will take the necessary steps to protect them, their families and their services from risk.

I am very keen that the union does not make it more difficult for you to manage the situation by producing lots of unnecessary or contradictory briefings/instructions or documents.

However, if there are pieces of practical advice that you think are missing, or if you want us to follow up particular problems in accessing information, equipment or responses within your workplace, please pass these on to us through the health group inbox

It would be particularly useful to check that your employer is acting on government advice around payment of bank, contractor and sub-contractor staff for periods of time when they are absent as a result of following advice on coronavirus and alert us if you have concern on this area.