NHS Borders criticised over its treatment of domestic staff

Karen Shields.
Karen Shields.

NHS Borders bosses have pledged to take into account concerns of its domestic staff at Borders General Hospital.

That comes after an award-winning member of staff at the Melrose hospital said she had “no respect” for management within NHS Borders and claimed domestic staff were being ignored.

Mortuary porter Karen Shields, who was presented with the Everyday Hero (Ancillary) accolade at the NHS’s Unsung Hero awards in Manchester last week, told board members at NHS Borders’ annual review in Galashiels on Tuesday that she felt ancillary staff were lacking respect from management.

She said: “A lot of the cleaners, porters and so on get stressed, but they still come in and do their job.

“I have no respect for management. They don’t listen. We report things to the right person and they take it higher up and we never hear anything back. Who is going to stand up for us lot? That’s what I wonder.”

Director of finance, procurement, estates and facilities, Carol Gillie, said: “I am disappointed to hear that, I genuinely am.

“I have done shifts with some of the domestics and porters to try to make sure I am representing you and the issues you have to face.”

Ms Gillie said she hopes to improve career progression opportunities for domestic staff, and added: “I do think you are a committed, hard-working group of individuals and your voice should absolutely be heard.”