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NHS funding faces ‘permanent winter’ under the Tories

THE NHS faces a “permanent winter” in funding, health workers warned yesterday.

Speaking to delegates at Unison’s annual conference in Brighton, national executive committee member Jenny Forbes said: “Crisis is the only way to describe what the NHS and our social care services are going through.

“We are facing a permanent winter in our NHS funding.”

She warned that staff shortages were just one on “an extensive list of problems,” including growing waiting lists, cancelled operations and a lack of hospital beds.

“Workloads and stress levels have gone through the roof — it is no surprise that so many have chosen to leave the health service or are at least considering it.”

Delegates passed a motion expressing “shock” at the “lack of urgency” shown by the government in dealing with problems facing health work and social care, noting that “particularly in England,” Britain’s health system “seems to exist in a state of near-permanent reorganisation.”

It also called to campaign against reorganisations that threatened staff, patients or service users, and committed Unison to supporting the Health Campaigns Together demonstration on Saturday June 30.

Unison Sefton local government branch delegate Kim Johnson said that privatisation is a “massive concern” for trade unions, reminding delegates of the huge work being put in to recruit among outsourced workers.

Ms Johnson and Josie Holmes, also from Sefton branch, called for sectoral collective bargaining in order to take wages out of competition.

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