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12 July 2000

GET TOUGH ON THE CAUSES OF NHS SICKNESS LEVELS
NOT ON SICK STAFF

Health union MSF today (Wednesday, 12 July) condemned the Treasury recommendations on making ill-health early retirement more difficult in the NHS.

MSF Head of Health, Roger Kline said that the report of the working group set up to consider the high levels of ill health early retirement in the public sector was fundamentally flawed.

"There is no evidence of any significant level of abuse of ill health retirement procedures in the NHS," said Roger Kline.

"The reality is that, as Government commissioned and independent reports have repeatedly shown that the real problem in the NHS is excessive workloads, poor health and safety practices and outrageous stress levels. The solution to high levels of ill-health early retirement is to make the NHS a healthier place to work in, not to penalise those the NHS has made ill. "

At present, working in the NHS makes you ill. That is what Government, employers and staff need to work together to change".

-ends-

NOTE FOR NEWS DESKS:

For further information, please contact

Roger Kline 0468 69 39 34
Shaun Noble Press Officer (020) 7939 7043 Mobile 0468 69 39 40

MSF press releases can be seen on our web site: www.msfhealth.org

MSF represents 65,000 health service professionals including the Guild of Healthcare Pharmacists, laboratory scientific staff, the College of Health Care Chaplains, the Community Psychiatric Nurses Association, the Medical Practitioners' Union, clinical psychologists, speech therapists, the Hospital Physicists Association and the Community Practitioners' and Health Visitors' Association. MSF has 400,000 skilled and professional members in a wide range of industries.
It is the UK's fifth largest union.

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