Government needs to listen after success of UNISON NHS Direct Staff work-in

Mayday for the nurses and health workers of NHS Direct in the South West meant extra toil in dark offices in support of the call for a pause in the transition to the new 111 service. 

The call by UNISON, and backed by other health organisations such as the RCN and the BMA, is for a measured and comprehensive review before the new service is implemented.

Michael Walker, UNISON National Officer, said:

“Yesterday, NHS Direct staff, all UNISON members, across the South West voluntarily contributed their own personal time to take extra calls to highlight important issues around clinical integrity and patient safety.

“The ‘work-in’ was enthusiastically supported and it was a great success.  It meant that an extra 150 calls in a combined total of 1,210, meeting the target of 13% outlined before the work-in started.

Michael added:

“We’re extremely proud of the action our members took yesterday.  They’re dedicated to upholding good quality patient care and they proved it with positive action.

“It’s time the Government listened to the experts, our members, who take these calls and provide such a valuable clinical service to the patients.

 “We want the Government to review all the implications for a move away from clinical triage by senior trained nurses, as currently happens in NHS Direct, to a system of signposting by call handlers with a web protocol tool, as is currently promoted by the 111 commissioning specifications.”



Notes to Editor

Yesterday, Monday 1 May from midnight to midnight, UNISON members in NHS Direct in Exeter and across the South West held a work-in.

Attached photo taken out outside the “work-in”


For further information and to arrange interviews contact:

Jenn Gollings, Communications Co-ordinator, UNISON South West on 01823 28533

Issued:  Wednesday 2 May 2012

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