UNISONActive is an unofficial blog produced by UNISON activists for UNISON activists. Bringing news, briefings and events from a progressive left perspective.

Saturday, 30 October 2010

A cautionary tale about private nursing agencies‏

Solomon Hughes, writing in yesterday’s Morning Star, highlights the corporate interests involved in the tragic case of housebound quadriplegic patient Jamie Merrett which received much publicity last week.
This followed the publication of a joint police and Care Standards report into the switching off in error of Mr Merrett’s ventilator by a nurse. Much of the media reports focused on the individual incompetence of the nurse whose actions were captured on CCTV.

Yet Hughes highlights the failings of the agency supplying the nurse to Wiltshire Health Authority and exposes the millions of pounds being bled out of the NHS by private nursing agencies. The elimination of such agencies - who exploit workers and lower care standards - must be a key negotiating response of health unions when NHS Trusts look to make savings by attacking terms and conditions.