Government Reacts To Unite GHA Walk Out

The Government has issued a statement in reaction to today's Unite - GHA walkout.

A statement from the Government follows below:

The Union has very good channels of communication with the Government on this and on every other issue. This will always be the case and the Chief Minister’s door, as Minister for Industrial Relations, will always be open.

This does not mean that we will agree on everything.

Clinical governance in UK has been defined as “a system through which NHS organisations are accountable for continuously improving the quality of their services and safeguarding high standards of care by creating an environment in which excellence in clinical care will flourish”.

Clinical staff working for the GHA are required to be registered with the Gibraltar Medical Registration Board (GMRB), and also registered and regulated by their respective professional bodies, including the General Medical Council (GMC), the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) and the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC).

In the last year, a handful of GHA clinical staff have been reported to a professional body for a broad range of issues from a complaint submitted by a patient, to issues with clinical standards of practice. These professional bodies are in the position to determine whether their own standards have been upheld in specific cases or whether they have not. The whole objective of the process is to sustain and improve standards of patient case. This is in the best interests of staff and of service users.

In those cases where an individual registered with one of these professional bodies may be involved in a police investigation, it is advised and encouraged that they report this fact to their professional body, as much for support and advice as for regulation.

Clinical standards of practice are applied equally to all clinicians, irrespective of their grade or seniority. There is no question of the application of rigorous clinical governance being designed or employed to punish GHA workers.

The Chief Minister, as Minister for Industrial Relations said: “I have been working very well with Unite on a number of issues in respect of their health branch.  Of course, we cannot agree on everything.  I represent the taxpayer, the patients and the ordinary Gibraltarian as well as the members of the union who have today taken this action.  We cannot agree on everything and there is a need for an objective and proper standard of clinical governance.  I hear the concerns of the union and I am, of course, ready and willing to engage on those concerns at the earliest opportunity as I have on all other matters. Usually, despite initial disagreement, with constructive engagement we can get to positive conclusions which are in the common interest of all of our community.  I look forward to doing so in respect of these concerns also as we have on many other thorny matters in the past.”