Responding to a speech by the health secretary today (Tuesday) outlining a series of healthcare reforms, UNISON head of health Sara Gorton said: “Most people just want the government to reduce waiting lists and improve quality and access to services across the board.

“While more control over treatment will be welcomed by many, this must be part of a joined-up, well-funded public health system. It must not dilute the huge effort needed to get through the backlog.

“The focus on prevention will ring hollow for public health teams who’ve faced a decade of cuts.

“Digital support can only go so far, particularly for elderly or vulnerable patients who may struggle with technology. It’s no substitute for experienced and skilled staff.

“Ministers should be doing all they can to retain existing employees and create a sustainable workforce so the NHS doesn’t fall any further behind. That includes an inflation-busting pay rise in the coming months.”

The article NHS reforms need a sustainable workforce and significant pay rise first appeared on the UNISON National site.