Harassment, abuse and discrimination have no place in a 21st century NHS

Staff must be able to do their jobs free from attacks and abuse

Commenting on the annual NHS staff survey published today (Thursday), UNISON acting deputy head of health Alan Lofthouse said:

“Harassment or ill-treatment of any kind is simply wrong. NHS staff must be able to get on with their jobs without the fear of abuse, assault, or ill-treatment from bigots, racists and sexual predators.

“The number of sexually motivated incidents is shocking. Health and emergency workers caring for people and saving lives shouldn’t ever have to suffer attacks, unwanted advances or inappropriate comments.

“Employers need to do more to ensure everyone working in the NHS, using its services or visiting patients knows how to behave and what will happen to them if they don’t.

“That means senior managers working closely with unions and staff to make the NHS workplace a safer, kinder, fairer and nicer place to work. One that’s completely free from discrimination, violence and harassment.

“The chancellor says he wants the NHS to become more productive. But the lived experiences of staff, squeezed resources and record low pay is forcing many to leave the jobs they love.

“With more than one in five NHS workers admitting they want to quit in the next year, the government needs to tackle wage rates right away. Staff satisfaction with pay is almost the worst it’s ever been. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to work out why.

“The NHS simply couldn’t function without its workers. That’s why it’s so important staff are rewarded properly with a decent pay rise when it’s due in couple of weeks.”