NHS Trade Unions - Joint Blueprint for the future

As we enter what could be the start of a gradual easing of lockdown restrictions, discussion has turned to how the NHS restarts those services that were stepped down during the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Given the pressure that staff have been under and the risk to their health and well-being – and that of their families – that has resulted from dealing with this pandemic, their concerns must be understood and addressed before any decision to bring services back to full capacity is made.

Keeping staff and patients safe and ensuring that the NHS is properly resourced to meet the currentand future demands placed on it – are the priorities. That is why 16 NHS trade unions are asking UK governments and employers to work with us to deliver our Blueprint for Return.

We want them to:

1. Guarantee that there is enough suitable PPE to

give staff the equipment they need to protect

them when being in contact with the coronavirus

is unavoidable – and that all communal staff areas

are safe to use.


2. Ensure that proper risk assessments are carried

out for all staff – to apply social distancing, to

help avoid contact with Covid-19 wherever

possible and to manage that contact safely when

there is no alternative. This must include access

to all information on every risk factor, including

on ethnicity, and proper training for the managers

who will conduct them.


3. Give staff and patients/clients unlimited access

to testing and rapid results, so that resumed

services can stay virus free for staff and patients.


4. Extend the current Covid-19 pay arrangements

so that staff get paid properly for all the hours

they work – including applying overtime rates to

hours over 37.5 a week.


5. Make sure that staff get a proper work/

life balance by recording and controlling

excess hours, reviewing long and rotating

shifts, enforcing working time regulations and

encouraging staff to take rest breaks and

annual leave.


6. Use additional capacity from the Bring Back Staff

initiative to support rapid establishment of safe

staffing levels.


7. Make sure that staff know about the support that

is available to those most affected by the impact

of the virus and encourage them to ask for help if

they need it.


8. Facilitate and support access to childcare,

particularly for staff with pre-school children.


9. Make a clear statement of intent that the

contribution of all NHS staff, whatever their jobs,

in dealing with this pandemic will be reflected in

future conversations about pay.


Date Online: 15/05/2020

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