UNISON CALLS FOR UNSUNG HEROES OF THE NHS TO BE RECOGNISED
UK’s leading public sector union, is warning the NHS not to take
healthcare assistants (HCAs) for granted, after a survey revealed
more than 50% had considered leaving the NHS, with the main reason
being that they felt undervalued.
In today’s NHS, HCAs are at the heart of patient bedside care. They
make a huge contribution to the health service, but have only patchy
access to training, with 23% still not getting an annual appraisal.
More than 50% said that they are not being developed to their full
Gail Adams, UNISON Head of Nursing, said:- “Health care
assistants are the unsung hero’s of the NHS. Their role has evolved
to become the bedrock of care in today’s health service. But they
persistently feel undervalued. It’s high time the vital contribution
they make to caring for patients was properly recognised.
The role of HCA has to be put on a firmer footing. UNISON would like
to see the postcode lottery of training come to an end, with every
HCA having an annual appraisal. HCAs also see regulation as an
important step in the right direction.
Improving access to training would tap into the well of talent and
dedication amongst HCAs. It would also have the knock on effect of
boosting job satisfaction, and reducing the numbers who consider
leaving the NHS.
The survey also revealed that 52% thought staffing in wards was
inadequate. This is very worrying, given the financial constraints
set to hit the NHS throughout this parliament, which could see
staffing levels drop.”
Key findings from the survey:-
► Over half the respondents said they felt they had not yet reached
► 60% said they
thought feeling undervalued was one of the main reasons for wanting
to leave the job.
► The main tasks
carried out are the bedrock of care – bathing, feeding and
► More HCAs now have
appraisals, but 23% did not.
► 50% had considered
leaving the NHS last year.
► There has been a
drop in the number of HCAs who want to take their careers forward
with training – from 41% in 2008, to 33% this time round, and those
more interested in training are skewed towards the younger age
► HCAs are keen to
see regulation introduced, which they see as fundamental to patient
safety and setting standards.
► HCAs are concerned
about staffing levels – with 52% saying staffing on their wards is
inadequate. With budgets set to be squeezed, there is real concern
that this might intensify.
► An increase in
violence – with two-thirds witnessing or experiencing violence or
aggression, and a 3% increase in the number of people threatened
with a weapon.
► More work needs to
be done looking at why more HCAs are on a higher banding in a mental
health setting, with clear job profiles drawn up, to make sure staff
are being treated fairly.
Children, bring your Teddy for a health check
AS part of the
Play in Hospital Week, there is an open afternoon at the Children's
Outpatient Department at Ormskirk Hospital where children of all
ages are invited to bring their teddy for a health check. The 'Teddy
Clinic' is on Friday, 24 September 2010, between 1pm and 5pm.
As well as the 'Teddy Clinic' there will be a name the teddy
competition, face painting, a colouring competition and a cake sale.
Hospital Play Specialists Amanda Walker and Caroline Bailey will be
on hand to help the children join in the fun.
Amanda Walker, Play Specialist at Ormskirk Children's Unit said,
lot of my friends think I spend all day finger painting, but it's
far more complicated than that! Yes, one of our tasks is to help
prevent children who are staying in hospital getting bored and to
help them have as pleasant an experience as possible, but our main
duties are in the various clinics helping the doctors, nurses and
other clinical staff. If a child has to have an injection or some
other test, then it is our job to distract them, helping to take
their mind off what is happening by interacting with them."
Parents and children are invited to come to the Children's
Outpatient Department on level 1 at Ormskirk & District General
Hospital on Friday, 24 September 2010, between 1pm and 5pm to meet Amanda
BUSINESS SECRETARY VINCE CABLE VISITS VAUXHALL’S ELLESMERE PORT
ON a visit to
Vauxhall’s Ellesmere Port plant, Business Secretary Vince Cable
said:- “I have been hugely impressed by what I’ve seen in
Ellesmere Port. The plant has transformed itself to become one of GM
Europe’s most efficient and productive manufacturing plants. GM’s
decision to build its new Astra model at Ellesmere Port was a big
win for the UK. At the plant I’ve heard about the work Vauxhall is
doing to make manufacturing careers more attractive to young people
and met the apprentices who are learning the skills that will help
stimulate economic growth and innovation in the UK. Ellesmere Port
disproves claims that Britain does not make anything anymore. The
cars made in this factory are exported all over Europe and I had the
opportunity to drive a brand new vehicle straight off the production
line.” The visit on 22 September 2010 has been seen as a
vote of confidence and a clear sign of a stable future for the
HOLLYOAKS BABES SAY ‘GET WATERED, NOT SLAUGHTERED’
shows young adults in the North West wasting hours on hangovers.
64% of young adults in the North West spend at least half a day
recovering when they have a hangover, according to new research by
alcohol awareness charity Drinkaware. On average, hangovers occur
more than twice a month and 1 in 10 of 18 to 24 year olds in the region
waste an entire day suffering the ill effects of drinking too much
the night before.
To help avoid a hangover and a good night taking a turn for the
worse, Hollyoaks babes Claire Cooper (who plays Jacqui McQueen) and
Gemma Merna (who plays Carmel Valentine, nee McQueen) are fronting
Drinkaware’s ‘Why Let Good Times Go Bad?’ campaign.
The Hollyoaks water
babes are encouraging young adults in the North West to ‘get watered
not slaughtered’ by drinking water or soft drinks to space their
alcoholic drinks on a night out. Encouragingly, 9% of young adults
in the North West already claims to drink water or a soft drink in
between every alcoholic drink.
Commenting on the campaign, Hollyoaks babe Gemma Merna who plays
character Carmel Valentine (nee McQueen) in the hit TV series,
says:- “We all like a good night out but it’s never good to
have that drink which tips you over the edge and ruins not only your
night but the next day too. Believe me, I’ve learnt the hard way!
Get watered, not slaughtered and don’t let the good times go bad.”
As well as encouraging young adults to drink water or soft drinks on
a night out, the ‘Why Let Good Times Go Bad?’ campaign, run in
partnership with more than 40 companies from across the drinks
industry and Coca-Cola Great Britain, presents other smarter
drinking tips including eating before drinking and looking after
your mates. The tips are designed to avoid a good night going bad
and feeling awful the next day. The research of young adults
conducted by ICM also showed that 29% of young adults in the North
West who drink have missed out on studying because of a hangover,
26% forfeit going to the gym, 18% have missed work while 13% have
missed lunch with friends or family as a result of drinking too
Chris Sorek, Chief Executive of Drinkaware, says:- “Drinking
water or soft drinks on a night out is a simple thing to do but it
can really help young adults in the North West stay in control of
their drinking on a night out.
Apart from drinking too much, hangovers are caused by ethanol, the
alcohol in our drinks, which acts as a diuretic. This makes you pee
more and as a result become dehydrated, one of the main causes of
the headache, dry mouth, dizziness and constant nausea that people
often suffer if they’ve over indulged the night before.
Obviously the best way to avoid a hangover is not to drink too much,
but not drinking on an empty stomach and drinking plenty of water or
soft drinks can help avoid a good time going bad and the dreaded
morning after feeling the next day.”
As part of the ‘Why
Let Good Times Go Bad?’ campaign, more than 16,000 pubs and bars
across the UK during September will carry campaign posters and drink
mats alongside 7,000 supermarkets, convenience stores and off
The campaign logo will feature on more than 13 million