Leading health unions have condemned the government’s “cavalier attitude” on NHS pay for staff as food banks open in hospital sites to support struggling staff
University Hospitals Bristol and Weston NHS Foundation Trust is one of 11 NHS trusts across England to open food banks for staff. Many more are implementing plans to help employees during the cost of living crisis.
Unions have said that the presence of food banks for NHS staff was “shocking” and argued that it shows that staff need an urgent wage boost during the worsening cost-of-living crisis.
NationalWorld contacted more than 200 NHS trusts across the country asking if food banks were in place for staff, with 136 of these replying.
We found that 11 trusts have food banks in place for staff, some of which were put in place to tackle the current cost of living crisis. Many others were found to have referral processes in place for staff needing access to external food banks, including some offering staff voucher schemes for local centres, and others were contemplating setting up internal food banks for employees.
Mark Smith, Chief Operating Officer and Deputy Chief Executive, University Hospitals Bristol & Weston NHS Foundation Trust said: “Supporting each other is something that makes University Hospitals Bristol & Weston (UHBW) a great place to work. We have several initiatives in place to support the financial wellbeing of our hard-working colleagues.
“We are piloting two self-service food pantries in our Bristol and Weston libraries. Colleagues can donate long-life goods and the pantries will be available for all UHBW employees to use, should they need to.
“We also regularly promote discounts available to NHS workers and have funded a Blue Light discount card for some colleagues, giving them access to a choice of over 15,000 discounts over the next 2 years.”
Sara Gorton, head of health for the union Unison, told NationalWorld it’s a “shocking state when health workers providing vital care no longer have enough money for their families’ own welfare”.
She said there’s “no clearer example” of why NHS workers need an immediate wage boost “to keep them afloat”.
“Otherwise, staff will continue leaving for better paid work, workforce shortages will worsen and treatment backlogs increase,” Ms Gorton added. “If the government doesn’t act quickly to put pay right, NHS staff will have no option but to strike over pay and staffing causing severe disruption this winter.”Hundreds of nurses left the University Hospitals Bristol and Weston NHS Trust last year
Dr Vivek Trivedi, co-chair of the British Medical Association (BMA) junior doctors committee, said: “The fact that NHS staff, who spend their working lives caring for others, cannot afford to feed themselves and their families is a terrible indictment of this government’s cavalier attitude to the impact its policies have on so many in society.”
He added: “At a time when the cost of living is soaring, chronic staff shortages in the NHS are just getting worse, and the remaining workforce is emotionally and physically scarred from the pandemic, it is simply galling that this government does not see fit to pay NHS staff fairly for their work.”
Dr Trivedi noted that while it’s important that NHS trusts put in place measures to support their staff, “the fact remains that staff should not be reliant on food banks and voucher schemes to cover our basic living expenses.”
Ten trusts have also specifically implemented initiatives to help staff with the current cost of living crisis, which include subsidised meals in hospital canteens, help with mileage costs, one-off payments of £100 to staff, access to a proportion of salary in advance of payday and vouchers to be used in school uniform shops.
Bristol City are being represented by Antoine Semenyo at the World Cup - and he joins an evergrowing list. It’s a week since the 2022 World Cup in Qatar began and already there has been some drama. When it comes to the World Cup, there has been some representation over the years from City. Here are all the current and former Bristol City players to have played at the World Cup. He would become a Bristol City player in 1976 and remain there for three years.4 months ago BristolWorld
Latest Bristol City and Swansea City injury newsKane Wilson is one of four Bristol City players missing. (Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images)Bristol City hope to get back to winning ways as they host Swansea City at Ashton Gate in an early kick-off in the Championship. Swansea CityWales midfielder Joe Allen is a confirmed absentee and is unlikely to play before the World Cup. AdvertisementJamie Paterson was released by Bristol City in the summer of 2021. Paterson, who was a player at Bristol City for five years, before his departure in the summer of 2021, is also back.5 months ago BristolWorld
The ex-Birmingham City and Crystal Palace striker waded in on the World Cup debateDiscussions are continuing on Aaron Collins’ World Cup hopes. (Photo by Harry Trump/Getty Images)Clinton Morrison says that Bristol Rovers striker Aaron Collins is putting pressure on Rob Page to call him up to Wales’ World Cup squad. The Rovers striker has hit nine goals and six assists in 16 League One matches this season. Morrison was called up to Ireland’s 2002 World Cup squad but did not feature. Another experienced Football League striker was also keen to add to the debate as to whether Collins should be in contention for the Welsh squad.5 months ago BristolWorld
Rovers have since gone on an unbeaten run and claimed a 2-2 draw with league leaders Plymouth, ahead of a busy period in store. Sheffield Wednesday are the opponents tonight with Joey Barton’s men at Hillsborough against one of the big hitters of the division. "I think we’re a match for anyone in the league,” the former Fleetwood Town midfielder stated in a word of warning to the rest of the third tier. He starred in a complete second half performance from the Gas in which they came back from a two-goal deficit to draw 2-2 with rivals Plymouth Argyle. The midfielder had a slow start to life as a Bristol Rovers player, however has excelled in recent weeks alongside his side’s rise up the League One table.5 months ago BristolWorld
Barton deployed a 4-3-1-2 formation in the win over the Robins, but has moved to the slightly more defensive formation of 4-3-3 with one forward. New signing Scott Sinclair only features on the bench after signing on a free transfer after being released by Preston North End. Amongst the substitutes are Anssi Jaakkola, the aforementioned Gibbons and Sinclair, as well as on-loan Middlesbrough striker Josh Coburn. Bristol Rovers (4-3-3): James Belshaw, Lewis Gordon, Bobby Thomas, Lewis Gibson, Luca Hoole; Sam Finley, Jordan Rossiter, Antony Evans; Harry Anderson, Ryan Loft, Aaron Collins. AdvertisementSubs: Anssi Jaakkola, James Gibbons, Harvey Saunders, Luke McCormick, Scott Sinclair, Trevor Clarke, Josh Coburn.5 months ago BristolWorld