UNISON Responds To New Health Secretary’s Plans For NHS

Commenting on Matt Hancock’s first speech as health secretary on Friday, UNISON head of health Sara Gorton said:

“Hardworking health staff will be heartened by the government’s new focus on the NHS workforce, and its commitment to tackling the issues that have such an impact on how they do their jobs.

“It’s reassuring that the health secretary acknowledges the huge scale of the task ahead to reverse years of damaging staff shortages, and a bullying culture that’s prompted many to leave jobs they love.

“A comprehensive, fully funded training programme is long overdue for all staff. Those doing non-clinical jobs play a vital role too in caring for patients. They should also have opportunities to learn new skills and move into better paid, more highly skilled work.

“There’s hope that the success of the recent pay deal will lead to unions and employers agreeing a new national scheme for apprenticeship pay. Expanding apprenticeships will be crucial to delivering an NHS fit for the future. But they must be paid a decent wage if the NHS is to attract the best talent in a competitive market.

“Listening to the views of staff across the health service through their unions, and acting on suggestions made, will stand the NHS in good stead as it strives to care for all those that will need its support in the years to come.”

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