UNISON welcomes the opportunity to submit evidence to the NHS Working Longer Review.
We are the major trade union in the National Health Service and the largest public service union in the UK. We represent more than 450,000 healthcare staff employed in the NHS.
Our members work across a broad spectrum of jobs in the NHS and include senior managers, cleaners, nurses, occupational therapists, ambulance staff, admin staff and porters.
Many of our members are extremely concerned about the impact that the Public Service Pensions Act 2013 will have on their long-term health and their ability to do their jobs as they approach their retirement.
Our submission is based on research that we undertook through our branch structures and UK wide occupation-specific groups to identify the particular issues that are likely to arise for groups of staff within the NHS as they begin to work longer. We also conducted online surveys of our health membership to help us to identify members’ concerns about working longer. Finally, we requested a huge amount of data from the Health and Social Care Information Centre, who provided us with an incredibly useful and detailed breakdown of sickness absence rates within the NHS according to age, job roles and also the reasons for sickness absence.
We would be more than happy to share the detailed spreadsheets with the Working Longer Review if it would help further work into the impact of working longer.
Ambulance Service specific submission is on pages 16 – 25