23 January 2003
UNISON issues 3 point action plan in light of hospital acquired
Scotland's largest healthcare union, UNISON has today issued a
three point action plan in response to the ongoing problems associated
with Hospital Acquired Infections (HAI) highlighted in a Scottish
Executive report issued today.
"When I worked in the National Health Service, a domestic was allocated
to my ward and worked from 7.30am to 2pm. At 4pm another domestic
would come on duty and work until 8pm. These individuals were totally
accountable to me, as they were employed by the National Health
Service", said Jim Devine, Scottish Organiser for Health, UNISON.
"Today the same domestics will cover 2, 4 or 6 wards because, since
1985 when Compulsory Competitive Tendering was introduced to the
National Health Service by the Tories, the number of domestics employed
by the National Health Service fell from 25,270 to 10,200.
"Over a 15 year period 15,000 less NHS employed domestics work
in the Scottish Health Service. During the same period, Hospital
Acquired Infection (HAI) has increased substantially. It is also
worth pointing out that, as a result of privatisation and PPP hospitals,
no Ward Sister or Charge Nurse in Scotland can manage a domestic
in the way that I could because domestics are not employed by the
National Health Service but employed by private contractors.
"Therefore we are calling on the Scottish Executive to firstly,
establish agreed minimum staffing levels for domestics for every
ward and department in the Scottish Health Service. Secondly, the
day to day management of domestics should be returned to Ward Sisters
and Charge Nurses and lastly, all private contractors should be
removed from the National Health Service."
For Further Information Please Contact: Jim Devine on: 0870-7777-006