Press Release Press Release Press Release

29 September, 2000

NHS CANCER PLAN WELCOME, BUT NEEDS SCIENTISTS TO SUCCEED

Health union MSF today (Friday, 29 September) welcomed the NHS Cancer Plan as a major step forward in bringing UK cancer services up to the best European standards.

However, MSF Head of Health Roger Kline warned that unless urgent action was taken to recruit and retain more scientists, the targets were at risk.

Roger Kline said: "We warmly welcome these plans. They are a radical improvement on current services and a sharp contrast with the underinvestment by the previous Government.

"However the increasingly visible shortages of NHS scientists will impede these plans unless something is done urgently to recruit more staff and retain those in the service. The crucial step in tackling this is a substantial increase in salaries for laboratory scientists.

It is hardly surprising that NHS biomedical scientists leave soon after joining the NHS when their salaries start at £10,000, well below what is offered to similarly qualified nurses and private sector scientists.

"An immediate one off increase and early implementation of the planned new job evaluation scheme for the NHS is crucial to retaining these staff whose role is rapidly increasing with numerous scientific breakthroughs affecting healthcare.

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NOTE FOR NEWS DESKS

For further information, please contact

Shaun Noble, Press Officer

Tel:

(020) 7939 7043

0468 69 39 40 (mobile)

Dan Smith

Tel:

01865 741166

Steve Sloan

Tel:

0468 69 39 40 (mobile)

NHS press releases can be seen on the MSF Health web site: www.msfhealth.org

MSF represents 65,000 health service professionals including the Guild of Healthcare Pharmacists, laboratory scientific staff, medical technical officers, 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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