Solving workforce emergency now is key to the future of the NHS

Government plans to fix emergency care won’t work without tackling pay and staffing

Commenting on the government’s proposals to boost NHS emergency care published today (Monday), UNISON head of health Sara Gorton said:

“The government has at last acknowledged that there are deep problems in emergency care.

“But if the Prime Minister wants to take credit for fixing emergency care next winter, he must first resolve the workforce crisis happening now.

“There’s nothing to deliver the urgent retention plan needed to stop staff leaving jobs in the NHS. Nor is there anything about boosting pay to prevent the current industrial unrest from spreading.

“Without halting further strikes over pay and staffing, it’s difficult to see how this plan will be delivered. Particularly with precious little new funding from the Treasury.

“The success of the NHS begins and ends with its employees. No plans to deal with waiting times and handover delays stand a chance without tackling staffing shortages.

“To do that, ministers must begin genuine pay talks with unions right away and make a commitment to a proper wage boost.”

Notes to editors:
– UNISON is the UK’s largest union and the largest union in the NHS and in the ambulance sector. It has 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.

Press contacts:
Anthony Barnes M: 07834 864794 E:
Liz Chinchen M: 07778 158175 E: