Commenting on the announcement today (Thursday) that NHS England and NHS Improvement are to work more closely together, UNISON head of health Sara Gorton said:
“Despite healthcare being about people, the last eight years in the NHS have been dominated by structural changes, cost saving exercises and internal politics.
“Changes to regional structures should provide the opportunity for the various parts of the NHS to get back to closer working – something that’s been hard to do since the upheaval unleashed by the Health and Social Care Act.
“A focus on better team-working and a positive culture has been badly lacking, and the day to day experiences of staff long overlooked.
“It’s good to see the NHS acknowledging things haven’t quite worked out as intended when the two organisations were created. The changes are a welcome attempt to usher in clearer accountability and better working between the main NHS bodies.
“The focus must now be on patients and the dedicated staff they rely on. Unions will expect to play their part in the proposed NHS Assembly, so that employees have a voice whenever the health service is being debated.
“UNISON will be working to ensure the changes don’t result in any redundancies and that staff are consulted throughout.”