To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what (a) discussions and (b) meetings (i) he, (ii) Ministers of his Department and (iii) officials of his Department have had with trades unions representing health and social care workers in each of the last twelve months.
Departmental Ministers and officials have attended official and unofficial fora, including ad hoc meetings and discussions to engage with trades unions on a wide range of policies throughout the year.
The Department relies on and values the role trades unions and other stakeholders play in informing the development of health and social care policies. Good partnership working at a national and local level is vital in helping the National Health Service continuously improve the quality and safety of health and care services.
Regarding the NHS workforce, the NHS Social Partnership Forum established in 1998 is where health ministers, Departmental officials, trades unions and NHS Employers meet to discuss policies that affect the NHS workforce. Over the last 12 months (April 2018 to March 2019) there have been three Wider Group meetings (chaired by health ministers) and six Strategic Group meetings led by Departmental officials.