Outcry over casualisation of nursing work

June 7, 2007 at 2:23 pm Leave a comment

The House of Commons Public Accounts Committee today warned of the dangers of increasing use of agency nurses within the NHS. In a trend being replicated throughout the UK economy, decent, secure jobs are being replaced with temporary or agency work, and nurses and patients are paying the price. Many NHS managers find it more convenient to book temporary nursing staff to deal with short term peaks in demand and holidays, and then get rid of these workers when demand is not so great. Agency workers can also be denied basic benefits such as holiday pay, and agency bosses attempt to save even more money by not providing their staff with necessary training – according to the committee 39% have not received basic life support training and 41% have not been trained in infection control.

The committee even warned that these attacks on conditions and job security could be costing the NHS money – given the high cut agencies take in fees for each hour worked agency staff often end up costing more than regular staff.

It is vitally important that health workers stick together in the face of these creeping attacks on our job security and fight to ensure that agency workers receive the same conditions, job security and access to training as other nursing staff.

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Entry filed under: healthcare workers.

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