Date: Thur 2 June 2005
NHS24 report points to need for urgent action
UNISON, the union for healthcare staff, today welcomed the interim
report of the NHS review team into NHS24, and urged all concerned
to co-operate to reduce the pressure on staff.
Bridget Hunter, UNISON's Lead Officer for Nursing said "The report
vindicates the points that UNISON has been making regarding staffing
levels - both in NHS24 and in the health service generally. We are
now looking forward to the final report in September , which we
are confident will cement NHS24 in as an integral part of the NHS.
"We need now to break the spiral of increasing staff workload and
pressure, leading to problems and negative press comment, leading
in turn to staff leaving NHS24. We need to bring in solutions which
adopt family friendly employment strategies so we can continue to
attract new recruits and to retain those we already have. The present
staff are the heart of NHS24, they are working hard to keep things
running, and can potentially save the future service.
"We are also pleased that the report recognises the impact on NHS24
of the changes to the hours worked by GPs, and we want the review
group to come up with clear recommendations to address this problem.
"UNISON recognises that the new chief executive has already started
working in partnership with the staff organisations delivering the
UNISON also said that NHS24 was not originally intended to substitute
for the withdrawal of GP out-of-hours cover, and the final report
needs to address this change in role and remit, and ensure that
the public are aware of what they should expect.
For Further Information Please Contact: Bridget Hunter (Lead
Officer for Nursing) 0845 355 0845(w) 07770 308063(m) Chris Bartter
(Communications Officer) 0845 355 0845(w) 0771 558 3729(m)