UNISON Investigates Working Conditions at Betsi Cadwaladr Hospitals

UNISON Cymru/Wales is conducting a thorough review of what it is like to work for Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board in the wake of allegations of historic abuse and the imposition of special measures by the Welsh Government. All UNISON health care members in the area have been asked to complete a questionnaire about their working conditions and Regional Secretary Margaret Thomas is to chair the next mass meeting of hospital workers on Thursday 6 August in Ysbyty Glan Clwyd hospital.

Jan Tomlinson, Branch Secretary UNISON North Wales Health Branch, said, “UNISON has initiated a listening exercise to discover the extent of problems across the Board’s hospitals. The clear message from our members in the hospitals is they felt they didn’t believe they were being listened to or their concerns taken seriously.

“Working for the NHS and caring for the public is a badge of honour, UNISON members are very proud of. The staff at Betsi Cadwaladr are horrified that the behaviour of a tiny minority has damaged the esteem that the overwhelming dedicated majority are held in. Continuous negative publicity is affecting morale.”

“We’ll submit a report to the Board to use as the basis for an action plan. There’s a duty on the Board to foster a better working environment for our members.”

Senior managers at the Board have allowed staff time off to attend Thursday’s meeting and similar mass meetings of hospital workers are also being held for Wrexham Maelor and Ysbyty Gwynedd.

UNISON’s ‘Listening to You’ questionnaires have been sent to every health care member in the region; over a thousand responses have so far been received.

UNISON will repeat the extensive survey of members in six months to ensure that remedial measures implemented are working to improve conditions for patients and staff.