Unite head of health Sarah Carpenter said: “It is clear that NHS England is grappling with some very tough decisions on services and patient care following the woefully inadequate extra cash for the NHS that Philip Hammond outlined in the budget.
“The government has ducked the dire financial crisis facing the NHS which is set to get worse as we experience the first cold snap of the winter.
“We should not have to be juggling, as the world’s sixth largest economy, between lengthening waiting lists or whether to direct resources to A&E departments.
“Staff morale is on the ropes as they are asked to do more with fewer resources – and there is only so much extra that you can ask dedicated professionals to do. ‘Recruitment and retention’ is now a major problem for NHS trusts.
“The pay austerity that NHS staff have endured since 2010 needs to be addressed and, as yet, it is not clear how this will play out. The next stage after the budget announcement is for the NHS unions to explore what this actually means and what such a deal could look like.
“Philip Hammond’s budget has not solved the cash crisis facing the NHS – the same set of stark challenges still remain and they need to be tackled urgently.”
Unite is the country’s largest union with 100,000 members in the health service.
Notes to editors:
For more information please contact Unite senior communications officer Shaun Noble on 020 3371 2060 or 07768 693940. Unite press office is on: 020 3371 2065
Twitter: @unitetheunion Facebook: unitetheunion1 Web: unitetheunion.org
Unite is Britain and Ireland’s largest trade union with over 1.4 million members working across all sectors of the economy. The general secretary is Len McCluskey.