Health unions publish blueprint for the safe opening up of the NHS

Fast, comprehensive and accessible testing, and the ongoing, ample supply of protective kit are among measures that must be in place for the NHS to be opened up safely as the UK begins to ease the lockdown, say health unions today (Friday). The 16 unions – including UNISON, the Royal College of Nursing, the Royal College of Midwives, the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy, Unite and GMB – have drawn up a nine-point blueprint, which also calls for staff to be paid properly for every hour worked. The unions want to ensure that – as out-patient clinics and operations resume – the NHS continues to operate a safety-first approach. This means, says the blueprint, maintaining the two-metre rule, allowing certain staff to continue working from home and regularly redeploying those in high-risk areas to ones under less pressure. Otherwise there could be a leap in infection rates which risks overwhelming the NHS, the document warns. The unions represent more than a million staff working in the NHS across the UK – including porters, nurses, radiographers, physiotherapists, midwives, 999-call handlers, cleaners, healthcare assistants, dieticians and paramedics. They all want to avoid a repeat of the protective equipment (PPE) supply problems experienced earlier in the pandemic. These shortages sapped staff confidence, causing widespread and unnecessary anxiety, say unions. Access to readily available PPE is especially important as employers in other parts of ...
Source: UNISON Health care news - Category: UK Health Authors: Tags: News Press release blueprint Covid-19 NHS PPE Source Type: news

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