10 / 9 / 2013 Midnight
Dean Royles says we cannot escape the increasing need to change working patterns and skill mix.
Responding to today’s Government announcement about how an extra £250 million of funding – the first half of £500 million over two years - would be used by 53 NHS Trusts this winter, Dean Royles, chief executive of the NHS Employers organisation, said:
“Pressure is rising in emergency departments and resources will be stretched this winter, so this additional funding is always a relief for the NHS and its patients.
“Evidence tells us one thing that’s better for patients is to have more of our senior consultants present in hospitals, responding more effectively to the vast array of emergency activity at weekends and evenings. There are concerns about working unsociable hours but we cannot escape the increasing need to change working patterns and skill mix, so it is crucial that patients are our main focus in this issue. Exploring such changes will be a significant cultural challenge but an essential one.
“As the organisers of the national NHS staff flu vaccination campaign, NHS Employers knows trusts are already doing a great deal to encourage staff to be vaccinated. It’ll be a huge challenge for many to get three quarters vaccinated, especially when their immunisation plans are already in place, but we’ll be there to support them every step of the way.
“Since NHS staff got their first national vaccination campaign in 2011 over 100,000 more have come forward to be vaccinated. If we keep moving in this direction we’ll get where we need to be, but we owe it to our patients to get there even faster.
“It’s important to emphasise that getting vaccinated is a personal choice, but one we think reflects the compassion all frontline staff should show in every aspect of patient care.”