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Author Archives: Shaun Noble

There has been too much reliance on the private sector when it comes to laboratory testing for coronavirus and not enough investment in long-established NHS facilities, Unite, Britain and Ireland’s largest union, said today (Wednesday 16 September). Unite’s stance is underpinned by its Biomedical Scientist Covid-19 survey, launched today, which highlights the under-use of NHS science facilities and resources as the crisis over the nationwide gaps in the Covid-19 testing regime escalates. The survey reveals Unite members’ unhappiness at the government’s reliance and priority given to the seven Lighthouse Laboratories, with private sector involvement, while long-established NHS facilities are being […]
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Public Health England (PHE) and its dedicated staff are being lined up as ‘the fall guy’ for ministers’ bungling over the handling of the coronavirus pandemic, Unite, Britain and Ireland’s largest union, said today (Monday 17 August). Unite, which is the lead union for employees at PHE, said that instead of merging PHE into a new body charged with preventing future pandemics, the PHE should continue in its present role – and the money cut from its budget by the government should be restored. Unite also said that there should be proper consultations with the unions about the future of […]
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A deserved boost in pay for NHS staff, who have battled through the pandemic, is ‘the elephant in the room’ in the latest plan for the health service in England, Unite, Britain and Ireland’s largest union, said today (Thursday 30 July). Health and social care secretary Matt Hancock today welcomed the launch of the NHS People Plan as a new bureaucracy busting drive, so staff can spend less time on paperwork and more time with their patients.   Unite, which has 100,000 members in the health service, said that the aims of this latest plan for the NHS would be […]
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The damning report by MPs into hospital patients in England being discharged into care homes without a Covid-19 test reinforces the need for a public inquiry, sooner rather than later, into the government’s handling of the pandemic, Unite, Britain and Ireland’s largest union, said today (Wednesday 29 July). The influential cross-party Public Accounts Committee (PAC) accused ministers of being slow to support social care during the crisis. The initial decision to allow untested patients into care homes was an ‘appalling error’. Unite assistant general secretary Gail Cartmail said: “The committee’s findings are a welcome first step, but MPs need to […]
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Unite NHS members will be at the forefront of a march to Downing Street tomorrow (Wednesday 29 July) to show their anger at being overlooked in the latest round of public sector pay rises – despite more than 500 NHS and social care staff dying from Covid-19. The Unite branch at Guy’s and St Thomas Hospital will be marching to Downing Street at 18.00 tomorrow from St Thomas Hospital, Westminster Bridge Road, SE1 7EH to protest at the government’s decision to put off a pay rise for NHS staff until April next year – when the three year pay deal […]
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The threat to cut health visitor and community nurse jobs in County Durham, while Covid-19 is still widespread, has been branded as ‘incomprehensible’ by Unite, Britain and Ireland’s largest union, today (Friday 24 July). Harrogate and District NHS Foundation Trust (HDFT), which is taking over the County Durham 0-25 family health service contract from 1 September, wants to axe about 37 whole time equivalents (WTEs), while the coronavirus is still widespread across the country. Although the HDFT also says it wants to employ 21 WTE new posts, there will be a net loss of 16 WTEs out of a workforce […]
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Class and race are the biggest factors in determining those that have died or been taken ill by Covid-19, Unite, Britain and Ireland’s largest union, said today (Tuesday 2 June). Unite called for a raft of policies to tackle the ‘systemic failures’ that has led to the disproportionate death toll amongst the Black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) communities and also the poorest groups in society The union was commenting on Public Health England’s report Disparities in the risk and outcomes of Covid-19 which highlighted those groups that had been hardest hit in terms of mortality due to coronavirus. Unite […]
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Thousands of social care staff in England could be falling through the net when it comes to the provision of the £60,000 payment in the event of death due to Covid-19. Serious concern was expressed today (Friday 22 May) by Unite, Britain and Ireland’s largest union, which has combed through the small print as to who the payment applies to. According to the government document, Coronavirus Life Assurance Scheme – Death in Service (England only): ‘Any employee who works for a private social care organisation which receives no public funding’ is not eligible for the payment. Unite called on health […]
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Boris Johnson’s hardline stance not to waive the £400 NHS surcharge for overseas health and social care workers combating coronavirus was described as ‘mean-spirited and shabby’ today (Thursday 21 May) by Unite, Britain and Ireland’s largest trade union. Unite, which has 100,000 members in the health service, said the hypocrisy of the prime minister was given extra piquancy as he singled out two non-UK  nurses – one from New Zealand and the other from Portugal – for praise after he survived his fight with Covid-19. The NHS fee of £400-a-year for care workers applies to those from outside the European […]
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The nine-point blueprint by 16 health unions for reopening the NHS should act as ‘a rocket booster’ for ministers to tackle the lack of PPE and the shambolic testing regime, Unite, Britain and Ireland’s largest union, said today (Friday 15 May). Unite, which has 100,000 members in the health service, is one of the 16 unions that has contributed to the blueprint designed to make the NHS the safest possible environment for patients, staff and visitors as the lockdown is eased by the government, and out-patient clinics and operations resume. Unite said that the three key issues that needed to […]
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Proposals to create a new super NHS laboratory in the northwest by closing local sites while 200 biomedical scientists are busy testing for Covid-19 will create delays in processing samples, Unite, Britain and Ireland’s largest union, warned today (Thursday 7 May). Unite said the plans by Lancashire and South Cumbria Central Laboratories Partnership to merge the labs at Blackburn, Blackpool, Lancaster and Preston into one super lab at a yet–to-be identified site would mean delays in testing samples which would have a detrimental impact on the estimated 500,000 people the super lab would serve. Unite, which has 100,000 members in […]
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Dear Unite members You will be aware of the great media speculation surrounding our governments’ developing proposals to get the country fully back to work as we seek to take the country out of the coronavirus lockdown. Of course, many of you have been at work throughout this crisis, serving our nations every working day, for which we thank you. Many more of you will be on furlough. Every single one of you will be anxious, I am sure, to understand what happens next. I want to assure you that your union is at the table with governments across the […]
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