Government must act urgently on NHS pay to bring record waiting times down

Rethink on wage award is only way to stop staff leaving

Commenting on new figures published today (Thursday) showing waiting lists for routine treatment in England have hit a new record high, UNISON head of health Sara Gorton said:

“Now’s not the time to be sick or injured. Under this government’s watch, the NHS is experiencing the worst crisis in its 74-year history.

“Health service managers are increasingly frustrated that there’s nothing they can do to slow the tide of staff heading for the door.

“As a matter of urgency, the government must rethink its inadequate pay award and top it up to prevent more experienced staff leaving for better-paid jobs.

“Only then will there be any hope of waiting lists coming down and people getting the treatment and care they deserve.”

Notes to editors:
– The ballot of NHS staff in England and Wales opens on 27 October and closes on 25 November. The Northern Ireland strike ballot opens the same day but closes on 18 November. A ballot of health staff in Scotland began last Monday (3 October) and continues until 31 October. In all over 400,000 NHS staff will be asked to vote.
– UNISON is the UK’s largest union with more than 1.3 million members providing public services in education, local government, the NHS, police service and energy. They are employed in the public, voluntary and private sectors.