Commenting on media reports today (Thursday) about early drafts of the long-awaited NHS workforce plan, UNISON head of health Sara Gorton said:
“The NHS is in a dire state because it’s thousands and thousands of staff short. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to fathom that.
“The workforce crisis is now so bad that parts of the NHS can no longer provide safe patient care.
“Ministers’ attitudes towards wages certainly aren’t helping. Low levels of pay have prompted many staff to quit for less stressful, better paid work elsewhere.
“The lack of a coherent government approach to pay will convince many more health workers a career in the NHS is no longer for them. Urgent measures to stop the staffing exodus must be put in place before the health service keels over.
“This month’s budget must contain the resources essential to ending the damaging pay dispute. Then unions, employers and ministers can focus efforts on tackling the staffing emergency together.
“This long overdue plan needs to be published without a moment’s more delay so grown-up conversations about funding can take place.
“It’s time the prime minister put his money where his mouth is. Rishi Sunak must prove to the public the NHS really is his priority by guaranteeing the cash to ensure this essential plan becomes a reality.”
Notes to editors:
– UNISON is the UK’s largest union and the largest union in the NHS and in the ambulance sector. It has 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.