Short-term help is welcome but NHS needs permanent workforce fix

Voluntary scheme with fair pay makes sense

Commenting on Labour’s plans for a voluntary overtime scheme in the NHS to help reduce waiting lists, UNISON general secretary Christina McAnea said today (Sunday):

“The NHS needs all the help it can get. This is fine as a stop-gap measure, but this is all it must be.

“Health workers are already up against it and there are only so many hours in a day. But a voluntary scheme, where staff are paid fairly, that avoids the use of expensive agencies, makes sense in the short-term.

“The priority must be to retain existing staff and encourage more temporary workers to go on the books and become directly employed NHS employees. 

“There must also be a properly funded recruitment campaign to fill the thousands of NHS vacancies. That’s how to tackle the huge backlog in the most efficient and effective way.”

Notes to editors:
– 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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