Date:Thurs 27 Oct 2005
Value staff to deliver Kerr report - says UNISON
UNISON, Scotland's largest healthcare union today urged the Scottish
Executive and health boards to properly value NHS staff and use
in-house expertise in jointly planning the key improvements recommended
in the Kerr Report.
UNISON Scotland made the call ahead of todays Scottish Parliament
debate on the future of Scotland's healthcare (Thursday). It follows
the union's detailed response to Professor David Kerr's report on
the structure of the NHS in Scotland.(available on the UNISONScotland
website - www.unison-scotland.org.uk/healthcare/kerrreport.html
- from later today).
The union believes that embedding partnership working and empowering
front-line staff can help establish a collaborative approach in
community health partnerships which is vital in achieving health
The Kerr report, published in May, laid out a 20-year plan for
the Scottish Health Service. UNISON has already broadly welcomed
its recommendations and called on the Scottish Executive to implement
Glyn Hawker, Scottish Organiser for Health, said today: "As the
union representing most staff delivering Scotland's healthcare,
UNISON agrees with Professor Kerr that the workforce is the key
to what the NHS can deliver and how the service is re-designed.
"Scotland has a highly trained and committed staff and the current
policy of partnership working has a track record of success which
can help transform NHS Scotland over the next twenty years."
However, she stressed that UNISON remains fundamentally opposed
to the use of the private sector to cut waiting lists.
"Using private hospitals for diagnostics and treatment leads to
greater inequalities in patient care, poaches valuable staff and
is poor value for money" Ms Hawker said.
"Instead the NHS should introduce improved referral systems and
the streaming of patients, and maximise the use of equipment and
Ms Hawker added: "UNISON welcomes the majority of Professor Kerr's
recommendations, but there are areas of concern. For example, the
poor value for money in existing and newly proposed PFI projects,
other use of private firms and ensuring the best use of information
communications technology (ICT)."
"We have concerns about the use of private management consultants
by the Scottish Executive Health Department and NHS Boards to support
strategic projects. We would like to see in-house expertise built
up in this area, particularly in commissioning large capital projects,
and in ensuring the quantum leap necessary to provide the best ICT.
"We also want to see an examination of value for money in the economics
of existing and any newly proposed PFI projects, including quality
and value for money of the provision of soft facilities management
services such as catering, cleaning and laundry."
For Further Information Please Contact: Glyn Hawker (Scottish
Organiser - Health) 07958 120 625(m) John Gallacher (Regional Officer)
07748 637 097(m) Chris Bartter(Communications Officer) 0845 355 0845(w) 0771 558 3729(m)