SoR says NHS needs new approach from the new Secretary of State

Sajid Javid swiftly replaced by Johnson loyalist, Stephen Barclay.

Published: 07 July 2022 Trade Union & IR

Dean Rogers, the SoR Executive Director for Industrial Strategy and Member Relations, said he
welcomed Javid’s resignation.

“Identifying Javid’s achievements in post isn’t easy. He leaves with all NHS staff and leaders awaiting the Government’s response to the Pay Review Body recommendation. He has famously indicated his view that NHS employees deserve no more than a 3% rise. His justification, in essence that until people work harder they can’t get more, indicated someone desperately out of touch with the NHS reality. This was amplified when saying recently he didn’t think the NHS needed more money.”

Dean added: “The NHS is at a critical point in its history. Covid has highlighted its value to
our nations but also how it was being under-valued and under-funded before the pandemic.
The scale of the challenge in trying to deliver a sustainable world class 21 st century health
service, whilst extending this into social care, needs to be honestly recognised and
presented to the taxpayer who’ll be expected to fund the investment needed. We have not
been getting the level of honesty needed from politicians across the debate who seem more
interested in soundbites than substance.

“I agree with Matthew Taylor, the Head of the NHS Confederation, when
requesting an opportunity for a new conversation and a change in direction. I genuinely
believe all stakeholders – unions, employers, patient groups etc. are all broadly on the same
side and all agree, at least broadly, on the problems. We also agree there is no magic wand
or easy political solution. Years of under-investment and poor planning will take years to put
right. Everyone will have a contribution to make and for a strategy to sustain itself everyone
needs to be invested in it…it has to emerge out of genuine partnership. That wasn’t
understood by recent Secretaries of State and is the first thing that needs to change.”

However, Dean also said, “Knowing and accepting the NHS’s challenges can’t be solved
quickly doesn’t mean we can afford to waste time. The crisis has reached a level where the
NHS doesn’t have any more time to waste on politics and posturing. It’s time to get serious.”