Frimley NHS Trust continues to put NHS Non-Clinical Services Staff at risk

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“Is it wrong to want access to protective equipment which means they, like others, can go home safe in the knowledge they are not liable to pass on the virus to their families?” ask GMB.

GMB, the union for the NHS staff, has seen its members continue to raise concerns over their NHS employer Frimley Health NHS Foundation Trust. The Trust continue to fail to provide adequate PPE and training to frontline, non-clinical facilities staff working across the Trust’s Wexham Park, Frimley Park and Heatherwood hospitals.

The fearful staff, who remain under threat of privatisation through the creation of a Wholly Owned Subsidiary (WOS), remain 100% committed to providing the very best service and support for patients.  Colleagues are working hard to battle the increased threat of the COVID-19 virus but find themselves constantly worried about their own health and safety as the lack of appropriate PPE and training leave them vulnerable to infection.

Despite GMB members raising their concerns, the Trust have simply chosen to ignore them in the main, and instead they have to rely on common sense and simply their ability to act on instinct of what is right, instead of receiving appropriate training.

If you then take into account lack of soap, hand sanitiser and suitable masks available, then the trust are unnecessarily placing the safety of staff and public at risk.

Asia Allison, GMB Regional Organiser said “GMB members in these unprecedented time are risking their lives.  They are offering greater flexibility than ever in where and how they work, but find that they are still being let down by Trust management all the way to the very top and basically just left to apply their own judgment in managing not only their own but the public’s safety as well.

“The support staff are already in overdrive - overwhelmed and at high risk of anxiety and stress, before you even factor in the risk of the virus itself.  If the management don't wake up and step up, the Trust will find itself with a legacy of mental health issues, from the stress that this outbreak will have taken on its workforce.

“The Trust claims to be too busy to even respond to GMB members’ urgent Health and Safety concerns, but have of course managed to find enough time to arrange a trust-wide communication to all non-clinical staff to confirm that once the COVID-19 battle is over, the Trust will look to press ahead with backdoor privatisation of non-clinical services by WOS.

“I’m pretty sure that this is the last information that exhausted staff wanted or expected to receive as a thank you for their efforts to date and it will have a detrimental impact on already low morale, with GMB members simply feeling that the Trust management are purely in a ‘use them and abuse them’ mode.”

Gary Palmer, GMB Regional Organiser said, “GMB members are telling us that some managers do not want to see or speak to their own front line staff for fear of possibly getting cross-infected.  At the same time these managers are expecting the same staff to ‘get on with their job’, and not raise a fuss about not getting training or appropriate PPE.

“That those same managers have also asked some staff use their annual leave while self-isolating - against national advice - is clearly not acceptable, and despite the fact that the GMB Union have urged the Frimley Trust to address matters, the management choose instead to just brush it under the carpet.

"Is it wrong to want access to protective equipment which means they, like others, can go home safe in the knowledge they are not liable to pass on the virus to their families?

“Communication is so important during these unprecedented times and a little appreciation would go a long way as well.  GMB non-clinical staff members are certainly not feeling the love from their employer at this time, although they will continue to do what they do best in putting everyone else’s health and wellbeing before that of themselves and their families.  It is simply unforgivable that their employer not only knows that, but takes advantage of it as a matter of course.”


Contact: Asia Allison 07813 541930 or Gary Palmer 07552 165950