Welsh government’s NHS pay move increases pressure on Westminster, says UNISON 

Longer waits for ambulances and in A&E departments are inevitable if the NHS doesn’t get more staff.

Commenting on Mark Drakeford’s offer today (Thursday) of additional money for health workers across Wales, UNISON head of health Sara Gorton said:

“This significantly ups the pressure on Westminster. Rishi Sunak must now explain why the first ministers in Scotland and Wales can dig deep for NHS staff, but his government can’t.

“The latest NHS England figures show ambulance delays and waiting times in A&E are the worst ever, leaving the prime minister and the chancellor with nowhere to hide.

“Unless ministers move quickly to boost pay for health workers in England, it’ll be plain to the public the government isn’t interested in improving patient care.

“Longer waits for ambulances and in A&E departments are inevitable if the NHS doesn’t get more staff. Better wages are the key to that.

“The tone in parts of government changed this week with a new willingness to talk about pay. It’s time for the prime minister to show he values the NHS by funding the pay rise needed to end the disputes and get the NHS back on track.”

Notes to editors:

– Ambulance staff belonging to UNISON took strike action yesterday (Wednesday) at five services in England – London, Yorkshire, the North West, North East and South West – over pay and staffing. The next strike is planned for Monday 23 January. The union is also re-balloting ambulance workers at five ambulance services in England (South East Coast, South Central, East of England, West Midlands and East Midlands) and the Welsh Ambulance Service. This began on 6 January and continues until Monday 16 February.
– UNISON is the UK’s largest union and the largest union in the NHS and in the ambulance sector, 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.

Press contacts:
Liz Chinchen M: 07778 158175 E: press@unison.co.uk
Fatima Ayad M: 07508 080383 E: f.ayad@unison.co.uk