Nursing ministerial task force must not be a talking shop, says UNISON Scotland 

Scotland’s largest health union, UNISON, has reacted to today’s (Tuesday) announcement by Health Secretary Humza Yousaf of a ministerial task force set up for nursing and midwifery.

Wilma Brown, chair of UNISON Scotland’s health committee and NHS nurse, said:

“UNISON Scotland has warned about short-staffing in the NHS for years. I am glad the Scottish government has finally decided to accept the need to boost workforce numbers as well as improve working conditions. Unfortunately, this announcement will do little for the morale of NHS staff working in catering, portering, admin, labs, ambulance and other professions across the NHS who will feel that their workplace shortages and pressures continue to be ignored.”  

Matt McLaughlin, UNISON Scotland head of health, said:

“UNISON is ready and willing to participate in this task force but our members expect real and rapid progress, not a talking shop. The pressure is on the Scottish government to improve working conditions and bring our NHS back to full health. Our dedicated health members deliver high-quality patient care day in and day out – it’s time the Scottish government delivers for them.”  

Notes to editors: 

  • UNISON is the largest union in the NHS representing 50,000 NHS workers across Agenda for Change including: nurses, midwives, managers, domestics, porters and admin workers. The union has membership in every health board in Scotland. Agenda for Change (NHS terms and conditions) covers most health workers in the NHS apart from doctors and dentists.

  • Link to Scottish Government announcement on the nursing and midwifery taskforce.