Date: Mon 3 December 2007
Minister endorses first NHS learning agreement in NHSHighland
Scotland's first NHS learning agreement will be signed in Inverness
today (Mon 3rd December). The ground-breaking pact will boost staff
training and support in NHS Highland.
Minister for Schools and Skills Maureen Watt MSP, and STUC General
Secretary Grahame Smith will witness the signing at the Centre for
Health Sciences at Raigmore Hospital, Inverness at 1.00pm today
Maureen Watt will say "Learning is a lifelong process and everyone
has the ability to build on their skills and unlock more of their
potential. This historic agreement will make a real difference to
NHS Highland, giving staff every chance to develop and expand their
skills and thereby give patients the best service possible."
The learning agreement between NHS Highland and trade unions UNISON,
Unite and the RCN means union reps will get time, training and support
to offer help and advice to staff about training and learning opportunities
- especially for those who have not traditionally accessed it.
Nigel Small, Management Co-Chair of NHS Highland's Learning and
Development Group, who will sign the agreement, comments "This initiative
demonstrates NHS Highland's commitment to both the development of
its staff and the strong commitment we have to working with Trade
Union colleagues so that the organisation delivers training and
education with a joined up, partnership approach. This is an exciting
initiative which will be good for staff and good for patient care''
Further signatory Adam Palmer, the union co-chair of the Learning
and Development Committee and UNISON branch secretary says "The
trade unions in NHS Highland are excited about this Learning Agreement,
the first in Scotland's NHS.
"We are enthusiastic about making sure that all staff have access
to learning and training because we know this can literally change
lives. Working in partnership we will be doing everything we can
to make these words on paper a reality for all NHS staff particularly
those who do essential jobs such as our porters, cleaners, our laundry
workers and cooks. Those who do not always have equal access to
training and development."
The event will form part of a day-long programme (from 10.00am
- 3.00pm) of workshops and stalls where NHS Highland's Union Learning
Reps will be discussing the way forward to promote learning in the
One of the learning reps - Janette McQuiston will say "Since I
first became involved in learning, which I did through UNISON, I
have developed both my skills and my confidence. This agreement
can benefit many more staff like me which will also benefit everyone
who uses and cares about our National Health Service."
You are invited to attend the signing and send photographers/camera
crew. Please contact Philippa Clark (Trade Unions) or Gill Keel
(NHS Highland) (below) to arrange attendance. If you wish to arrange
an interview with Minster for Schools and Skills Maureen Watt please
contact Brendan Rooney in the Scottish Government Press office on
0131 244 2960.
For Further Information Please Contact: Philippa Clark (UNISON
Lifelong learning) 01463 715 891(w) or 07983 636553 (m) Gill Keel
(NHS Highland) 01463 704775(w) Eunice Cameron (NHS Highland) 01463
704774(w) Chris Bartter (Communications Officer) 0870 7777 006(w)
0771 558 3729(m) Judy Fulton (RCN Communications Officer) 0131 662
6138 (w) 07962 801 005