Commenting on the government’s winter coronavirus plan outlined by health secretary Sajid Javid today (Tuesday), UNISON general secretary Christina McAnea said:
“Making mask wearing optional back in the summer was a mistake. The government was too hasty to scrap this and other sensible safety precautions like social distancing.
“Health workers are having to cope with the backlog and rising Covid hospital admissions. Their struggle is made worse by having too few staff, all worn out from their previous pandemic efforts. They’re hugely dedicated individuals, but they’re not superhuman. It’s the same picture in social care.
“Ministers must not wait for infections to spiral before bringing back masks and social distancing rules. The government must also make recruitment in the NHS and care much more of a priority to help both services through the challenges that undoubtedly lie ahead.”
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.