Specialist mental health support and pay rise needed, says UNISON 

Christina McAnea says high vacancy rates have increased impact of Covid

Responding to research ​published today (Thursday) by the COVID Trauma Response Working Group showing high rates of mental health disorders among health and care workers during the first lockdown last year, UNISON general secretary Christina McAnea said:

“Covid has inflicted deep mental scars on NHS and care staff. They’ve paid an unimaginable price for caring for the nation throughout this pandemic.

“High vacancy rates in health and social care have made the situation worse. Staff have been worked to the bone because of unfilled jobs. This threatens the ability of the NHS and social care to look after people properly.

“The government must now help heal the damage through guaranteed access to specialist support. A decent pay increase is also essential to raise morale and recruitment.”

Notes to editors:
– On Thursday evening at 8pm, health unions are urging the public to show support for NHS staff with a slow hand clap demonstrating their displeasure at government proposals for a 1% pay rise. UNISON is calling on the government to give all NHS workers a pay rise of at least £2,000. Health workers are currently in the final year of a three-year deal. They’re due a pay rise in April.
– 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 contacts:  
Liz Chinchen M: 07778 158175 E: press@unison.co.uk
Anthony Barnes M: 07834 864794 E: a.barnes@unison.co.uk