The Voice Ambulance union news
13 July 2020

THE VOICE GMB Ambulance union news on NHS wage rise and HCPC

NHS staff into an early wage rise, say health unions

The government should build on the huge public support shown for the NHS during the pandemic by giving health workers across the UK an early pay rise, say health unions today (Friday). The 14 unions – representing more than 1.3 million nurses, cleaners, physiotherapists, healthcare assistants, dieticians, radiographers, porters, midwives, paramedics and other NHS employees – have written both to the Chancellor and the Prime Minister calling for pay talks to start soon so staff get a wage boost before the end of the year.

Health workers are nearing the end of a three year pay deal. Unions are urging the government to provide the funding for a fair and early pay rise for all NHS staff – including the many domestics, catering workers, security guards and other support staff working for private contractors.
A fair wage increase would help staff feel valued after the huge pressures and challenges faced in recent months. There would also be a boost to the economy as health workers spend the extra money in their pockets on local high streets, say unions.
The second GMB union NHS (Including Ambulance) Pay Consultation Survey is now open.
The link to the survey is -
Survey opens - Tuesday 7th July 2020
Survey closes - Tuesday 21st July 2020

PPE out of date masksThe issue of out of date M3 FFP3 masks that have had new date stickers applied has caused a lot of concern among members and frustration of reps trying to get answers.
The GMB union wrote to PHE on the 17th June stating that PHE and Government continue to state that all PPE supplies are rigorously tested and safe to use. However, GMB union continues to have doubts about the accuracy of this statement.
The GMB trade union is seeking clarification on:

  1. Who is responsible for the rigorous testing of supplies?
  2. How are these tested?
  3. What has been your advice to employers regarding the use of out of date stock?

“The response was received this week and included; In relation to out of date PPE, whilst DHSC is responsible for issuing stock to the NHS and social care in the COVID-19 response, we understand that the regulator (HSE) was consulted on the testing regime for FFP3 respirators and that the outcome of this testing on 3M stock was a pass rate of 100%.

The COVID-19: infection prevention and control guidance has been issued jointly by the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC), Public Health Wales (PHW), Public Health Agency (PHA) Northern Ireland, Health Protection Scotland (HPS), Public Health Scotland, Public Health England and NHS England as official guidance. The guidance is based on the best scientific evidence and the World Health Organization (WHO) have confirmed it is consistent with what it recommends in circumstances and settings with the highest risk of transmission.
The Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) is responsible for the procurement of PPE on behalf of the NHS and has dealt with offers of help from private companies.”
Appears to be some degree of blame shifting here as they went on to advise writing to DHSC and HSE on this issue which we will do shortly. We will update once a response is received.

Paul Turner – Deputy Branch Sec & National Committee, Rachel Harrison – National Officer have recently meet with the HCPC John Barwick – Chief Executive & Registrar Jacqueline Ladds – Executive Director of Policy & External Relations (Development of Standards and Guidance) To discuss ways that the GMB trade union and HCPC can work closely together as they do with another stakeholder’s in the future.

Some of the issues discussed included

We raised concerns of GMB union members – being asked to do things wouldn’t normally do during Covid-19; fear of HCPC; poor culture; threats by management.
HCPC want our support in tackling this perception. Want to move to an image of supporting professionals rather than punishing them – training, awareness and support.


0.6% of registrants receive complaints against them, an even smaller number end up in a hearing of struck off. 50% of HCPC budget (£12 m) is spent on Fitness to Practice Hearings.

There are a higher number of self-referrals from ambulance staff than any other profession. Misguided belief that self-referral on minor offences will lead to lesser punishment, but it actually starts the process unnecessarily.

Kelly Green (HCPC) working on a project specifically for Paramedics. Educating on what needs to be referred and when. Written to all ambulance trusts. Agreed to arrange a meeting with us to discuss the project.

The length of time that hearings take is tied down in legislation. Trying to get this reformed as believe it isn’t fit for purpose.

The role of the Paramedic has changed over the years. Would be good to do some work on this. Maybe College of Paramedics would be interested.

HCPC are setting up a professional liaison team to support staff and employers and advise regarding when to refer.
Did pause the contribution increase due to Covid-19 but will need to introduce these by the end of the year. Will consider positive messaging on this and what the money will be used for.

GMB North West & Irish Region