23 January 2004
More staff involvement needed to provide unified care
A key government initiative needs to involve affected staff more
and to be given sufficient resources, a survey in the Highlands
UNISON, the public service trade union, has surveyed members involved
in the 'Joint Future' project in the Highlands. The results will
be presented to a Joint Committee today (Friday 23 Jan).
The project, which intends to bring together healthcare/local authority
and voluntary sector agencies to provide unified care services,
is being threatened by both lack of consultation and lack of resources.
"There was a high level of awareness about Joint Future, and people
felt that one assessment that all agencies shared would provide
better quality info." Said Adam Palmer, Secretary of UNISON's Highland
Primary Care Branch.
"And nearly three-quarters of all staff who responded know what
Joint Future was. But sixty percent had not been involved in discussions
or consultations about it. This has to change if we are to deliver
successfully what everyone wants."
There is similar concern about involvement in the discussions about
integrated teams - a key target of Joint Future - where staff from
various agencies work together to deliver care. Here seventy-nine
percent of staff have not been involved.
Adam Palmer said "There is still understandable concern that there
are fair and equal terms & conditions for staff as services become
"More resources, particularly in the area of information technology,
were also identified as desirable in the survey. UNISON has started
to present the information to local health and council chiefs and
will be running its own event to discuss the next steps with this
"We know from discussions with colleagues outside the Highlands,"
said Adam, "that the issues of resources and fair and equal conditions
are issues across Scotland. It is useful to have this confirmed,
and to be able to quantify it if we need to go to other parts of
For Further Information Please Contact: Adam Palmer (Branch
Secy - UNISON Highland Prim Care Br 01463 704919(w)