Change of direction is needed to save NHS

Ministers must act to turn round staff survey findings

Commenting on the latest annual NHS staff survey published today (Thursday), UNISON deputy head of health Helga Pile said:

“No one should be in any doubt as to the scale of the problems facing the NHS.

“Years of government neglect and underinvestment are to blame. Ministers have done nothing meaningful to stop the slide, despite repeated warnings.

“The sharp decline in the number of staff happy with the standard of care at their organisation is alarming. The government’s failure to protect the NHS is letting down patients and putting them at risk.

“Satisfaction with pay has hit a new low and the numbers thinking of leaving has soared to a five-year-high. The outlook is bleak unless ministers change direction dramatically.

“That means a comprehensive workforce plan, plus long-term investment in NHS pay, working conditions, training and apprenticeship places.

“Nurses, porters, paramedics, cleaners, healthcare assistants and all the other vital staff that make up the NHS need to be given hope things will change.

“The chancellor has an opportunity to do just that next week.”

Notes to editors:
The survey’s findings include:
– Satisfaction with wages has hit a new low, with only 26% of staff content with their level of pay. This is 6% down from 2021. For ambulance staff, just 15.8% were satisfied and healthcare assistants just 13.3%.
– Only 26% of staff said there are enough staff at their organisation for them to do their job properly.
– Almost a third (32%) of NHS staff said they think often about leaving, a five-year high. Nearly a quarter (24%) of ambulance operations staff say they will leave as soon as they can find another job.
– Staff are increasingly concerned at the level of care their employer provides. Only 63% are happy with the standard of care provided by their organisation, a five-year low and 5% below 2021.
– 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.

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