Health secretary Jeremy Hunt is ‘completely out of touch’ in his refusal to introduce regulation of healthcare assistants, Unite, the largest union in the country, said today (Thursday 11 April).
Unite, which has 100,000 members in the health service, was commenting on a new survey by the British Journal of Healthcare Assistants (BJHCA), which shows that 93 per cent of those surveyed, agreed there should be a code of conduct and compulsory registration for healthcare support workers.
The recent Francis report into the scandal at Mid Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust was firmly in favour of regulation for support workers, but Jeremy Hunt reportedly said this would not be introduced because it would create “a bureaucratic quagmire”.
Unite head of health Rachael Maskell said: “Once again, Jeremy Hunt has demonstrated that he is completely out of touch with what the NHS requires to meet today’s challenges.
“The BJHCA survey shows what healthcare assistants, who are at the frontline in delivering care, want to happen – statutory regulation to reassure the public on patient safety and to reinforce the status of this vital profession.
“The fact that two-thirds of those surveyed would be prepared to pay a registration fee shows that healthcare assistants are willing to put their money where their mouth is – and it should be remembered that they are lowly paid.”
For further information please contact Unite senior communications officer Shaun Noble on 07768 693940
- Unite is Britain and Ireland’s largest trade union with 1.5 million members working across all sectors of the economy. The general secretary is Len McCluskey.