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Full Sick Pay for ALL Health Workers - open letter from NHS workers to Simon Stevens (NHSE CEO)
15/4/20 THIS LETTER CLOSED IS NOW CLOSED. See
for more campaigning on this issue.
A significant part of the NHS workforce consists of workers on zero hours contracts and/or employed by subcontractors, with no right to paid time off. They are mostly among the health service's lowest paid staff. If any of these workers display symptoms of Covid-19 or if their household members display symptoms, they face the choice of following advice and facing severe financial hardship on only Statutory Sick Pay - or keeping working and potentially contributing to the spread of the virus.
We therefore welcome the instruction in the NHS England letter dated 2.3.20 to NHS Trusts to: "ensure any member of staff, including bank staff and sub-contractors, who has to be physically present at an NHS facility to carry out their duties, receives full pay for any period in which they are required to self-isolate as a result of public health advice".
However we are concerned that not all NHS Trusts have implemented this, and where they have the majority of NHS workers do not know about this policy. NHS employers are not acting on it and publicising it. If workers do not know when they are entitled to paid leave then the risks identified above remain.
Ensuring the policy is put into action is essential for public health as well as the rights of frontline workers caring for patients during the shutdown. We urge you to ensure local policy is in alignment with NHS England’s guidance, and widely publicise it among NHS workers;
demand the NHS and all NHS Trusts publicise it extensively; and
demand the government publicly commits to the policy and guarantees resources to enact it.
Every day that this does not happen the risks to staff, patients and the service as a whole increase.
Stuart Jordan, Community Mental Health Nurse, East London
Pete Campbell, NHS Junior Doctor, Newcastle
Anita Downs, Palliative care CNS / Unite rep, Lewisham
Anthony Johnson, Health Visitor & Lead Organiser for Nurses United UK
Mark Boothroyd, ED Staff Nurse, GSTT Unite Branch Secretary
Jane Stewart, Unite EC National Women's seat
Jaika Witana, Consultant Physician, Sheffield
Katharine Maciver, Matron, London
Ruhul Amin, Administrator, East London
Josef Prochazka, Registered Nurse, London
Helen Morea, Social Worker, East London
Nicola Redwood, Server Technician, Unite Branch Chair, London
Alison Brown, South Area Secretary Yorkshire Ambulance Service Unison
Christopher Wood, Paramedic, Sheffield
Tim Cooper, Healthcare Assistant, Nottingham
Lin Scoffin, Assistant Practitioner, Cornwall
Lorna Solomon, Occupational Therapist, Unison representative, Hackney
Ella Thorpe, Staff Nurse, Newcastle upon Tyne
Hassan Uddin, Support Time Recovery Worker, East London
Tom Richardson, Occupational therapist
Liam Cumming, Secretary, GMB Isle of Wight Branch I15
Daniel Nichols, Trust Temp; Barking, Havering & Redbridge University Hospitals NHS Trust
Fiona Harkin, Registered Nurse (Agency), Luton
Emily Kamal-Smith, Mental health nurse
Laura Horgan, Trauma Coordinator, London
Nicole Kelly, Student Nurse, St Albans
Diana Rocha, Staff Nurse, London
Jessica Giwa-Osagie, Practice Manager, Mitcham
Aara Essajee, Nurse, London
Jorge Acevedo-Rodriguez, Registered General Nurse, London
Victoria Thorpe, Health Visitor, London
Tara McCloskey, Family Nurse, Kilmarnock
Carol Dent, Nurse, Llanbedyr y Cennin Conwy
Farjana Ahmed, Registered Mental Health Nurse, East London
Chris Allen, Retired NHS worker, Leicester
Elaine Jones, Unison steward, CWP community health branch, Wirral
Shan Tai, Agency Nurse, Worcestershire
Bose Awoleye, Social Therapist, East London
Selina Misfud, Business Support Officer, Bethnal Green CMHT
Afolabi Otulaja, Social Therapist, Tower Hamlets
Helen Murrell, General Practitioner, Newcastle on Tyne
Sara Stewart, Retired Social Worker, Corby
John Puntis, Retired Consultant Paediatrician, Leeds
Kim Tunstall, Paramedic, Manchester
Allon Gould, Doctor, London
Diana Swingler, Occupational Therapist and Unison activist, London
Nadira Chowdhury, Social Therapist, East London
Catherine James, Genetic Technologist, Newcastle on Tyne
Julie Willis, Doctor, Middlesborough
Karen Reissmann, Unison NEC (pc)
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