RCM calls for better support for disabled NHS staff in TUC motion

on 12 July 2023 Midwifery Midwives Midwifery Workforce Maternity Services NHS Government Disabilities England Flexible Working Healthcare Professionals MSWs - Maternity Support Workers NHS Staff On Employment Trade Unions TUC

The Royal College of Midwives (RCM) says a change is needed urgently in how funds for reasonable adjustments for disabled NHS staff are allocated at Trust level. 

In a motion – presented by RCM activist Mandi Masters - to the TUC Disabled Workers Conference today, the RCM is calling for all NHS Trusts to have central funds for reasonable adjustments. 

“It should not be a matter of luck or chance that disabled NHS staff get the support they need in the workplace, which it is at the moment,” said Alice Sorby, the RCM’s Director for Employment Relations. “This needs to change and quickly. I hope that with this motion and with the weight of the TUC behind us, we can change this and improve the working lives of thousands of NHS staff. No NHS employee should have to fight for something that is their right.” 

Currently, only a minority of NHS Trusts have a central fund for reasonable adjustments for NHS staff. In most Trusts the funds come out of the money they have for patient care. The 2021 NHS Staff Survey showed that over one in four NHS staff who need some reasonable adjustments are not getting the support they need from their employer, a situation that is unacceptable says the RCM. 

“It is Incredible that what should be an automatic right for staff actually means they are often competing for money from the same pot that funds patient care,” said Pauline Twigg, Vice Chair of the RCM Board and TUC Disabled Worker’s Committee member. “This makes no sense and that is why I am delighted that the RCM’s motion focused on this issue, so that together we can push for change.”