The welfare of health staff at Arrowe Park hospital, where those travelling from China are being quarantined because the coronavirus, needs to be a top priority, Unite, Britain and Ireland’s largest union, said today (Friday 31 January).

Unite, which has more than 1,000 members at the Wirral University Teaching Hospital NHS Foundation Trust which includes the hospital, was commenting after a management briefing at lunchtime today.

Unite regional officer Derek Jones said: “The unions were briefed on the situation by the NHS management today as the welfare of our members working at the hospital is a prime concern.

“It should be remembered that those who are being quarantined are British nationals who left Wuhan, the epicentre of the outbreak in China, and are entitled to the excellent care that the health service can provide.

“Staff at the hospital will not be asked to treat those being quarantined as this is being dealt with centrally by the Department of Health and Social Care.

“Should any of those at Arrowe Park develop symptoms associated with the virus they will be transferred to the world-renowned Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine which is highly specialised to care for such cases.

“The staff, who were asked to leave the residential blocks at short notice to accommodate those flying in from China, are being put up in hotels and apartments at NHS England’s expense.

“Unite is satisfied that this emergency is being dealt with in a professional manner, but we will be monitoring how the situation develops in the coming days as the welfare of NHS staff remains a key concern.”  


Notes to editors:

For more information please contact Unite senior communications officer Shaun Noble on 020 3371 2060 or 07768 693940. Unite press office is on:  020 3371 2065


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Unite is Britain and Ireland’s largest union with members working across all sectors of the economy. The general secretary is Len McCluskey.