News

03.10.17

New workforce app will ‘bring gig economy to the NHS’

A union has today warned that a new app being brought to the NHS could risk bringing the so-called 'gig economy' to the health service.

Alongside a number of other new measures to address the many challenges faced by the NHS, Jeremy Hunt today announced plans for a new workforce app that the GMB has described as being like “Uber for the NHS.”

Speaking to delegates at the Conservative Party conference, Hunt announced plans to introduce the app-based work system to 12 trusts across England to allow the workforce to be more agile.

“They [nurses] need to be able to work flexibly, do extra hours at short notice, get paid more quickly when they do and make their own choices on pension contributions,” the health secretary said. “So today I’m also announcing that new flexible working arrangements will be offered to all NHS employees during this parliament.

“And we’ll start next year with 12 trusts piloting a new app-based flexible working offer to their staff.”

In response, the union, which has recently been campaigning for the public sector pay cap to be lifted for NHS workers, argued that the app will cause more problems for the NHS workforce.

“As if NHS staff don’t have enough on their plate with real terms pay cuts, stress on the job and ever-increasing workloads – now Jeremy Hunt wants to force them into the gig economy as well,” said Rehana Azam, GMB national secretary for public services.

“Public sector workers are already putting in £11bn worth of unpaid overtime every year and many of our NHS members already take on bank work to make ends meet. The idea that there is some untapped reserve of labour in the NHS that can be unlocked with an app is pure fantasy.”

Azam also claimed it was a “terrible idea” to have overworked, underpaid workers be told via an app that they were not needed for a shift.

“You only have to look at this model in health and social care where zero hours contracts and 15 minute slots to look after the elderly have left the system on the brink of collapse,” she continued.

“Instead of wasting money creating Uber for the NHS, why doesn’t the health secretary give all NHS staff the pay rise they desperately need?”

The Department of Health was contacted but chose not to comment.

Have you got a story to tell? Would you like to become an NHE columnist? If so, click here.

Comments

There are no comments. Why not be the first?

Add your comment

 

national health executive tv

more videos >

latest news

View all News

comment

NHS England dementia director prescribes rugby for mental health and dementia patients

23/09/2019NHS England dementia director prescribes rugby for mental health and dementia patients

Reason to celebrate as NHS says watching rugby can be good for your mental ... more >
Peter Kyle MP: It’s time to say thank you this Public Service Day

21/06/2019Peter Kyle MP: It’s time to say thank you this Public Service Day

Taking time to say thank you is one of the hidden pillars of a society. Bei... more >

editor's comment

26/06/2020Adapting and Innovating

Matt Roberts, National Health Executive Editorial Lead. NHE May/June 2020 Edition We’ve been through so much as a health sector and a society in recent months with coronavirus and nothing can take away from the loss and difficulties that we’ve faced but it vital we also don’t disregard the amazing efforts we’ve witnessed. Staff have gone above and beyond, whole hospitals and trusts have flexed virtually at will to meet demand and pressures and we’ve... read more >

last word

Haseeb Ahmad: ‘We all have a role to play in getting innovations quicker’

Haseeb Ahmad: ‘We all have a role to play in getting innovations quicker’

Haseeb Ahmad, president of the Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry (ABPI), sits down with National Health Executive as part of our Last Word Q&A series. Would you talk us throu more > more last word articles >

interviews

Matt Hancock says GP recruitment is on the rise to support ‘bedrock of the NHS’

24/10/2019Matt Hancock says GP recruitment is on the rise to support ‘bedrock of the NHS’

Today, speaking at the Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP) annual... more >

the scalpel's daily blog

NHS at 72: Managing mental health services going forward

03/07/2020NHS at 72: Managing mental health services going forward

Sean Duggan, Chief Executive of the Mental Health Network Let’s take this opportunity to reflect on the amazing achievements of our health system over the past few ... more >
read more blog posts from 'the scalpel' >

healthcare events

events calendar

back

July 2020

forward
mon tue wed thu fri sat sun
29 30 1 2 3 4 5
6 7 8 9 10 11 12
13 14 15 16 17 18 19
20 21 22 23 24 25 26
27 28 29 30 31 1 2
3 4 5 6 7 8 9

featured articles

View all News