Health And Care Workers To Take Industrial Action This Thursday
Unite the union has today said that “fear and mistrust” in the Health and Care Sectors are causing low morale amongst staff.
A statement from the union continued: “Unite the Union Health and Care Branch voted yesterday to take industrial action this Thursday 30th July at 1pm at St Bernard’s due to concerns over how a growing culture of blame is being used against Health workers carrying out their duties for patients. The union has previously been vocal about incidents of bullying in the GHA and the way bullying cases have been handled by the GHA, especially that of the previous Medical Director.
“Unite has also raised concerns from its members that the approach by Clinical Governance has increasingly become focused on punishing staff rather than focusing on improving the service and providing guidance on how health professionals can improve in the interests of patients. The union is also highlighting the increasing use of services originating from Sheffield being utilised in the GHA and a lack of transparency in how these services are incorporated and the union has major concerns regarding the potential for privatisation through the back door.”
Sam Hennessy, Unite Regional Officer for Gibraltar said: “Throughout COVID-19 frontline health and Care Workers have gone above and beyond in protecting the community from the most deadly pandemic in our lifetime. Their heroic efforts ensured that Gibraltar averted a disaster that has become a reality for most of the world; although as we know the virus has not been defeated. However we are concerned as a union that workers are informing us that they are increasingly fearful in their place of work and are concerned that they is a greater propensity to be reported to their professional bodies and to Clinical Governance rather than being supported and encouraged to deliver the best service possible to the people of Gibraltar. This approach is causing morale amongst members of staff to be at an all-time low where they are not just fearful of their concerns not being addressed but that many are worried about raising their head above the parapet in the first place. This could lead to patient care being compromised because staff are apprehensive in carrying out their duties.
The handling of the bullying case of the previous Medical Director continues to cause greater feelings of mistrust amongst the membership as it leads to the appearance that it is one rule for those at the top and another for frontline workers. In addition, the increase in companies from Sheffield being incorporated into the GHA and the lack of a transparent process in why and how these services are engaged is cause to question the tender process.
“The union believes going forward that greater transparency and accountability is required so that staff and patients are confident that service users come before profit. Unite will always stand against any form of privatisation of our much needed health service and the union’s representatives and members have been clear on the need to take action in the interests of staff and most importantly the well-being of patients. We encourage those that will take part in the demonstration on Thursday 30th at 1pm at outside St Bernard’s hospital to wear masks and observe social distancing.”