Warms words and platitudes won’t get the NHS through the winter crisis Britain’s largest union said today (Thursday 11 January) as it warned that overworked and overstressed NHS workers were at breaking point.

Unite, which represents over 100,000 health workers, accused minsters of relying on the goodwill of dedicated NHS workers to get it through the crisis. It comes as figures out today showed the number of accident and emergency patients being treated within the politically important four hour target had reached its lowest ever level. 

Hospitals in England managed to care for just 77 per cent of patients within the four hour target last month – far fewer than the 95 per cent target.

Unite national officer Sarah Carpenter said: “NHS staff are working tirelessly to care for patients and deliver the best service possible in some of the most trying conditions for a generation.

“Overworked and overstressed, it is their dedication and commitment which is stopping the developing crisis from turning into a catastrophe. The warm words and platitudes of Jeremy Hunt and Theresa May towards NHS workers will not solve the deep seated problems that have been caused by their heartless incompetence.

“The government needs to listen to health workers and provide the proper funding needed to ensure the NHS continues to deliver the care patients and their loved ones expect. 

“A failure to do so will see the exodus of highly skilled staff leaving the NHS quicken and the service lurch from one crisis to another with patient care dangerously damaged.”


For further information please contact the Unite press office on 020 3371 2065 or Unite head of media and campaigns Alex Flynn on 020 3371 2066 or 07967 665869. 

Notes to editors: 

  • 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.