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National Standards Relating to Healthcare Support Workers in Scotland

The UNISON Scotland Submission to the Scottish Executive Consultation on - "National Standards Relating to Healthcare Support Workers in Scotland"

September 2006


UNISON Scotland welcomes the opportunity to respond to the Scottish Executive's consultation on ‘National Standards Relating to Healthcare Support Workers in Scotland'.

UNISON Scotland has over 150,000 members in Scotland and in particular, over 50,000 employees in NHS Scotland. UNISON Scotland is the largest trade union organising and representing all groups of healthcare staff.

UNISON Scotland Response

UNISON Scotland supports the concerns and issues raised within the National UNISON response but would also like to add some further comment on this consultation.

UNISON Scotland recognises the need for public protection and that all staff whose work impacts on the care of patients should be subject to proper regulatory arrangements. This was highlighted in our response to a previous consultation on this issue (http://www.unison-scotland.org.uk /response/regsupport.html). In this response, we also highlighted the need for the Scottish Executive to fully fund any additional training programmes in order for the relevant staff to achieve any new set of standards. UNISON Scotland also raised the issue of the cost of regulation and highlighted our concern that such costs should not fall on staff, many of whom are low paid, working part-time and employed on temporary contracts. It is a concern that this issue is not addressed in this new consultation.

UNISON Scotland is concerned that we were not as involved in the development of this paper and associated activity as we feel we should have been. As the largest trade union organising and representing all groups of healthcare support staff, UNISON Scotland believes that we are uniquely placed to represent the views of such staff. We are disappointed that only one UNISON member was involved in the process and that when illness forced his withdrawal limited effort was made to bring this to the attention of either the Scottish Organiser, Health or our Regional Officer for professional issues.

UNISON Scotland believes that, as mentioned in the consultation paper, the regulations should be on a Scotland-wide basis. For this reason, UNISON Scotland would not support employer-level regulation. We consider that this would create a conflict of interest between the employer (the provider of service), who has its own identity and interests to preserve and the interests of the individual employees over whom it has authority and power not just for control of continued present employment but ultimately the control of their future livelihood.

We would expect no less than an independent regulator and consider that the employer cannot fill that criterion.

UNISON Scotland would seek to establish and maintain a relationship with the CHRE which is consistent for all Healthcare workers and this we consider could not be delivered through employer regulation.

We also deem as essential the monitoring of standards and codes of conduct for regulators and employers for consistency of application and to be equally applied to all healthcare staff.


For further information please contact:

Glyn Hawker, Scottish Organiser
UNISON Scotland
14, West Campbell Street,
Glasgow G2 6RX
Tel 0845 355 0845 Fax 0141 342 2835

e-mail g.hawker@unison.co.uk

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