In the wake of Covid-19, the CSP has called for NHS staff to receive a meaningful and immediate pay rise that will help safeguard the future of the workforce.
Physiotherapist Jill Taylor, chair of the CSP’s employment committee, spoke on behalf of the society on the first day of the virtual Trade Union Congress 2020, where she raised a motion calling for urgent action on NHS recruitment, retention and pay.
Delegates heard how the pandemic has highlighted that health and care workers have never been more vital to the health and welfare of the nation.
And yet, in spite of this, the NHS is facing a future workforce crisis – due to vast numbers of vacant posts, rising waiting times and unmet patient needs.
Ms Taylor told congress: ‘Our NHS is short of tens of thousands of staff and patients are facing rising waiting times.
‘Huge demands will be placed on the service as suspended services are restored and to meet the long-term rehabilitation needs of Covid survivors.
We must retain current staff, attract new staff and expand staffing – and fair and decent pay is central to this.
‘That’s why the CSP is calling on the TUC to join health unions in calling for a meaningful and immediate pay rise for NHS staff.’
The ongoing impact of Covid-19
Ms Taylor added that the TUC has been long calling for a new deal for workers and their families – and that the pandemic had shown that this was now urgently needed.
‘Over the past few months, society has been badly battered and bruised and many lives have been lost.
‘We all know somebody who has been hurt or suffered in some way. And sadly, we can’t say the worst is over. Far from it.
‘With the number of cases going up, Covid-19 remains a real danger.
‘The economy is already on its knees and we are facing the end of furlough, and possible further Brexit-related difficulties.
‘Over the coming months, public services will inevitably be stretched to breaking point as we take the strain of a society where millions may be out of a job.’
In order to combat the long-term consequences of the pandemic, as well as to adequately meet ongoing public health needs, Ms Taylor urged the TUC and its affiliates to join with health unions and call on the government to grant a meaningful and immediate pay rise for NHS staff.
Testing for asymptomatic healthcare staff
Earlier this month the CSP signed a joint letter with the Arthritis and Musculoskeletal Alliance and Physio First, the professional network for self-employed private physiotherapists, which was sent to the health secretary Matt Hancock.
The letter called on the government to provide regular asymptomatic Covid-19 testing for all healthcare professionals.
The health secretary has yet to respond.
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