Nick McMaster, Communications Officer writes: Last week Colm Donaghy, Chief Executive announced that the Admin Service Review has been "paused" following feedback from staff. Please find below the response from Branch; a slightly ammended version of a letter sent to Colm today.
Re: Trust Decision to Pause Work on the Admin Services Review
We welcome the recent decision by the Trust to pause their work on the Admin Services Review. We believe this to be a sensible decision which will allow for a period of reflection and less pressured feedback.
Unlike many previous Trust wide reviews and consultations where there have been diverging opinion amongst staff, the feedback and concerns we have received and passed on have been universally consistent. This isn’t the criticism of a few UNISON members in pockets around the Trust, this is the workforce saying as one that the current plans for clinical administration systems and processes do not feel right and will not work. Latterly, the admin staff have been joined by clinicians in providing this feedback, after feeling they had been left in the dark about the plans.
Furthermore, some of the decisions, actions and communications made by the Trust pushed staff into feeling that the review was fairly irrelevant and that that the outcome of the consultation, when it came, was fait accompli.
We now have to be fair and recognise that by pausing the work, the Trust has demonstrated it has treated the review seriously. This is an important shift in the culture of our Trust and one that deserves credit.
In UNISON we recognise that the Trust has a right to review its services and suggest changes to improve quality, safety and efficiency in a drive to always better our service users’ outcomes. However, we feel that the vision for services was too ambitious, too corporate, too convenient and felt like an off the peg solution more attuned to a private commercial company than a complex NHS provider.
Instead we feel that the Trust should back itself and its staff to finding solutions in an organisation of large geography, multiple services and challenging and rewarding clinical work and relationships. The Trust has already made moves through its Listening into Action initiative and Care Delivery Services to devolve decision making to those nearest their stakeholders. UNISON believes that these mechanisms - already at the Trust’s disposal – can be utilised, rather than the bought in, top down approach that seemed to drive the Admin Review.
We are pleased that the key resource and experts in this stage of the Review, the administration staff, have been given a voice and listened to. This is valuable in meeting the 20/20 vision goal of being ‘the employer of choice’.
UNISON will be pleased to continue its role alongside the other staff side unions in being a critical friend in this process now and when it restarts.
For more information on the Admin Service Review please go to: http://www.unison-sussexpartnership.org.uk/?q=campaigns