The RCM has responded to the health secretary’s announcement on the launch of a new NHS national engagement exercise.
The secretary of state for health and social care Matt Hancock launched the government’s new digital platform – TalkHealthandCare – yesterday (10 September).
The platform, which will be available on computers, phones and tablets will enable the 3.1 million health and social care staff in England to post ideas, questions and challenges for government.
The secretary said that he wants to make health and care jobs the best jobs there can be and he wants to start an open-ended, two-way, frank conversation.
He said: ‘It’s time we hear from health and care staff about what they really have to say about the jobs that are at the heart of this country. Nobody knows what needs improving more than hard-working staff themselves, so my message is clear: we are listening to you, we want your views, and we will use them to ensure the long-term plan for the NHS helps you.’
TalkHealthandCare has been launched following feedback from staff that too often they do not feel valued at work.
Some of the known issues that TalkHealthandCare will seek views on include improving shift patterns and juggling home and work lives, speeding up the use of helpful technologies that cut out paperwork, and training and development.
RCM head of health and social policy Sean O’Sullivan said: ‘We welcome any initiative to get the views of midwives and NHS staff. They will often have solutions to problems they face and ideas for delivering safer and better care. What is important is that this is a real exercise in engaging with staff and that the government acts on what staff tell them.
‘There is a real need to give NHS staff the right tools, right staffing levels and the working conditions they need so that they can do their jobs to the best of their ability. This includes coming through on the promise of 3000 more midwives and ensuring that staff receive fair pay for their work – as with the recent pay award – and other initiatives to recruit and retain staff such as more flexible working.’