NHS needs more patience, less spin

Spin is getting in the way of NHS reform. This was the key message from Dave Prentis, General Secretary of UNISON, at a health symposium at St Thomas’ Hospital today, to Health Secretary, Alan Milburn. UNISON urged the minister to hold his nerve and stick to the NHS plan which has already been agreed by the government and UNISON.

Dave Prentis, General Secretary of UNISON, said:

“All governments like to see results, but no amount of spin will fix the NHS quickly. It took years of under-investment by the Tories to reach the situation we are in now and the NHS needs more patience and less spin to deliver better patient care.

“Forget tomorrows headline, it is the next day’s fish and chip wrappings, start by getting the basics right. The NHS needs more doctors with more beds to carry out more operations and extra nurses to keep wards open, it needs more support staff and they all need better equipped hospitals to work in. All this does not come cheap so the NHS needs the investment to deliver.

“We are 18 months into the 10 year NHS plan. There is no need to look abroad for answers, the private sector are not the cavalry with all the right answers. The plan envisaged best practice being shared around the NHS and the staff working in the NHS have the real expertise and experience to carry out the necessary reforms.

“We need to capitalise on the good things in the NHS. It is the staff that provide the care and it is their commitment and skills which need to be celebrated. Failure to do so will damage their wounded morale even further.

“We look forward to building a world class health service based on world class staff.”