‘Only Enough is Enough’ campaign launched to expose hospital understaffing


Pilot scheme launched in six regions

Hospitals will be held accountable for unsafe staff levels under a new ‘Only Enough is Enough’ campaign from UNISON launching this autumn, says the union today (Tuesday).

As a result of having too few employees, many NHS trusts are unable to provide safe staffing levels, says UNISON.

The union’s campaign aims to highlight hospitals that are failing to provide sufficient numbers of staff with the time they need to deliver quality patient care. The union wants trusts to work in partnership with NHS workers to solve their staffing problems.

The campaign will initially have six pilot areas – Birmingham, Cambridge, Cardiff, Cornwall, Liverpool and South Wales.

Nurses, midwives and other NHS employees will be asked to complete a staffing survey after every shift to log any shortages and any problems this has caused. Union branches will then be able to use the data to hold local hospitals to account and push for new measures to recruit and retain staff.

UNISON national officer for nursing Stuart Tuckwood said: “For far too long many hospitals have been unable to provide enough staff with the time they need to deliver quality patient care. The union’s campaign aims to shine a light on problem areas and give local healthcare workers the tools they need to secure proper staffing levels.”

Nurse and UNISON Royal Gwent Hospital branch secretary Andrea Prince said: “I cover 15 wards, ranging from an acute medical admissions unit to care of the elderly wards. I have been a nurse for 36 years and in the last decade I have seen staffing levels really deteriorate.

“Agency staff are essential just to maintain the current poor staffing levels. If we don’t act together now, this issue is going to get worse. Safe staffing levels are absolutely vital for the NHS.”

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.

Media contact:
Dan Ashley M: 07789 518992 E: d.ashley@unison.co.uk