Expose front line staff myth

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Conference
2012 Health Care Service Group Conference
Date
16 December 2011
Decision
Carried as Amended

Whilst Conference acknowledges and supports all the NHS staff who are involved in direct patient/client care and who are traditionally regarded as front line, we reject the government position that they are not affected by the cuts to our NHS with nurses, therapists etc. facing redundancy and service closures constantly.

However, we also need to acknowledge that all staff in the NHS are front line. Without the work of staff in all departments, patient care would suffer and the smooth running of hospitals would collapse. In particular we have seen the recent attack in NHS organisations across the UK in the form of administration reviews where medical secretaries and other administrative staff have faced redundancy, down banding and increased workloads. This will only result in consultant clinics being run with half empty lists, patients arriving without the necessary pre-appointment checks and ultimately NHS organisations failing to comply with the targets they are set and being penalised for doing so. The role that admin, catering, housekeeping, estates, pathology etc. play in the NHS is vital to enable the staff delivering care to patients/clients to carry out their jobs, therefore as front line workers they are as vital as any other role within the NHS organisation.

Conference calls upon the Service Group Executive to work with the regions to continue campaigning to expose the myth of front line staff and also to challenge government propaganda that ’frontline staff’ are protected from the cuts.