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"
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
/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
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
14, West Campbell Street,
Glasgow G2 6RX
Tel 0845 355 0845 Fax 0141 342 2835