Responding to the publication of the independent review into maternity services at Cwm Taf health board, Paul Summers, UNISON Cymru Wales head of health, said,
“Families have suffered untold distress at what should be a joyous occasion and I want to express the sympathy of all healthcare workers in UNISON with them. Families in the local community have every right to expect the safest and best possible care.
“The Health Minister’s statement reflects concerns of parents and staff and we want to work with him and the health board in addressing the blame culture where staff working in a punitive environment are too afraid to speak out.
“The report findings on staff shortages are a real concern for UNISON as this is something that is becoming all too familiar in the NHS and public services. Frontline staff are going above and beyond in the most difficult of circumstances working long hours and overtime to fill staffing shortages. As a public services union, we know if employers cut corners on staffing levels, the quality of patient care will be affected. Safe staffing levels help to provide safe care.
“The decision to put the hospital into special measures and the appointment of additional support to the board provides an opportunity to improve patient care and rebuild staff confidence. There is a duty on the health board to urgently rebuild trust with patients and staff.”
Alastair Gittins, UNISON Press Officer on 07816 538397