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Dying To Work – Supporting staff with terminal illness  

10 Aug 2021 - Press Release


Leaders at Stockport NHS Foundation Trust have pledged their support to a national initiative aimed at providing the best possible support for employees who have a terminal illness.

The trust, which runs Stepping Hill Hospital and community NHS services across Stockport, has signed up to the Dying to Work Charter together with trade unions representing staff working for their services.

The Dying to Work Charter was set up by the Trade Union Congress (TUC) to ensure employers respond to the needs of terminal employees, recognising that these are people who require support and understanding, not additional and avoidable stress and worry. The Charter also recognises if staff want to continue working in safe and reasonable work, this can help maintain dignity and offer a therapeutic distraction.

It aims to provide employees with security of work, peace of mind and the right to choose the best course of action for themselves during challenging times, with dignity and without undue financial loss. This includes being able to have time off, having adequate employment protection, and having their death in benefits protected for any loves ones they leave behind.

Trust Chair Professor Tony Warne and Chief Executive Karen James OBE signed the charter and showed their public support alongside David McAllister, UNISON Branch Secretary on the Stepping Hill Hospital site.

In addition to UNISON, other unions and organisations representing Stockport NHS staff who have signed up to the charter are the Royal College of Nurses, the Royal College of Midwives, The British Medical Association, Unite, the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy Representatives, the British and Irish Orthoptic Society, and the Trade Union Conference.  

Chair, Professor Tony Warne said; “People who have had a diagnosis of terminal illnesses are going through a terrible and traumatic experience, and they should be given the respect and support they need.

“We are proud at Stockport NHS Foundation Trust to sign up to the Dying To Work charter to show our commitment to supporting our staff at their time of greatest need.”

 UNISON Stockport Health Branch Secretary and Healthcare Assistant David McAllister said;  "The TUC Dying to Work Charter is close to my heart. I am so pleased the trust has signed up to it.

“My dear friend and fellow UNISON Branch Secretary Jean Blevin worked with The Walton Centre NHS Foundation Trust who signed up to this before she sadly passed away from a terminal illness in August 2020. It is an honour to continue Jean’s legacy who wanted to make sure that no one who receives a terminal diagnosis would suffer additional strife at work or financial concerns.”

“Every person battling terminal conditions deserves the choice of how to spend their final months. When staff are faced with such a tough diagnosis, we are committed to ensuring that they are treated with respect in a supportive work environment.”

UNISON branch secretary David McAllister, Chair Professor Tony Warne and Chief Executive Karen James

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