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UNISON training plea as nurses miss out on appraisals

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UNISON has called for a nurse training scheme on the Knowledge and Skills Framework, following a highly critical report from the House of Commons Public Accounts Committee.

The influential group of MPs said the KSF was still not properly implemented across the NHS, despite two relaunches and attempts by the Department of Health to emphasise its importance.

By autumn last year, only 58% of staff had received their annual skills review under the framework, which means that improvements in staff skills, patient care and efficiency are not being realised.

Edward Leigh, chair of the committee, said: ‘The KSF is supposed to generate better and more flexible working by staff, to the benefit of patients. But it has been relaunched twice and, by autumn 2008, nearly a half of staff had not been given the required annual knowledge and skills review.

Mike Jackson, UNISON senior national officer, said: ‘It is a national scandal that, almost five years after the agreement was concluded, more than one third of NHS staff have no annual appraisal and no action to address their training and development needs.

‘The NHS cannot become a world class service when so many staff’s development needs are ignored. We back the PAC’s demand for firm action to put into place the Knowledge and Skills Framework.’

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  • 2 Comments

Readers' comments (2)

  • I agree with the MPs comments and in many hospitals the KSF is only paid lip service. However the reality is that the MPs should take a walk around our hospital departments and see how pressured they are in terms of workload and staffing levels. With these pressures annual reviews just don't happen because they are not seen as a priority.

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  • It is an undeniable fact that most hospitals, if not all, are under staffed with the resultant mountain of workload on all levels of staff. If "KSF is supposed to generate better and more flexible working by staff to the benefit of the patients", then the responsible individuals should ensure that every member of staff is appraised and not just a selected few who are seemingly being groomed by the appraisal for progression. Appraisal should be done for all with subsequent implemantation of action plans, enabling staff to be more confident and competent in their duties for the benefit of patients and the National Health Service at large.

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