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09 September 2013

The irony that the world's leading organisation in healthcare cannot look after its own employees is nothing short of a national scandal.

This is the message the Society of Radiographers (SoR) is taking to this year’s TUC Congress in Bournemouth.

Jackie Hughes, the SoR’s immediate past president, has today argued for a nationwide campaign to tackle the issue of poor health and wellbeing among NHS workers, and the need for improved occupational health services.

The SoR will remind trade unionists of the cost of sickness leave to the UK – £12 billion – and highlight the 2009 Boorman review which exposed the “shameful state” of occupational health services within the NHS.

In his 2009 review, Dr Steve Boorman highlighted that reducing sickness absence by one third would provide an additional 3.4 million working days a year for NHS staff. This is equivalent to nearly 15,000 additional whole-time staff, and an annual cost saving of £555 million.

“Despite the leaders of the new NHS signing pledges in April of this year, supporting the health and wellbeing of NHS staff, it would appear that genuine action to address this issue is woefully lacking,” said Jackie.

“But its not all about the money or the NHS. There is clear evidence that a healthy workforce provides not only better care for patients, but are more engaged.

“It is vital that all workers have access to good occupational health services and employer support to achieve a sustainable return to work.”

The motion was presented this afternoon (Monday, 9 September).

The Society’s second motion, to be debated later in the week, will highlight the concerns raised by the recent Six Lives Progress Report on healthcare for people with learning disabilities and the Department of Health’s “weak” response.


Notes for Editor

For more information about the SoR’s motions at TUC, or its work within the trade union movement, contact Dominic Deeson on 01227 469060 or 0795 784 5238.

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