Wednesday, 3 April 2013

UNISON warning on staffing levels and financial pressures on health boards

3 April 2013
UNISON warned last night that the NHS in Scotland cannot be complacent about avoiding the terrible failings at Mid Staffordshire in England.
Newsnight Scotland reported on the launch yesterday of a pilot ‘whistleblowers’ phoneline for health service workers.
The National Confidential Alert Line for NHS staff ( 0800 008 6112 ) is being piloted for a year.
Examining a range of incidents in Scottish hospitals, Newsnight also referred to the failings at Mid Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust, described as “appalling” by the Francis Inquiry, and asked whether it could be repeated here.
Matt McLaughlin, UNISON Scotland’s lead officer for nursing, said that Mid Staffordshire was clearly a very complex situation and that it is wrong to make direct comparisons with Scotland’s different health system
However, he added: “The fundamental problem for us in Scotland, I think, relates to staffing levels and to the constant pressure that health boards are under to save money, to stretch pounds further than they currently do.
“And that was a fundamental problem in Mid Staffordshire.
“Could it happen in Scotland? Yes, it could.”
See the whole report on BBC iPlayer here

Matt’s interview starts at about 4 minutes into the programme.
(See also Matt's article on the challenges facing nursing in the April edition of the Socialist Health Association Scotland journal, Healthier Scotland, p15. It is also posted on this blog.

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