Ever since the publication of the AP model duty rota as part of the E3 change programme, Napo has had cause to challenge many of the implementation plans issued by NPS divisional leads.
Essentially, the national agreement that each AP would introduce a rota that met their specific needs following local consultation seems to have been ignored in too many instances. Instead, we are seeing a clamour to impose unrealistic arrangements which are not conducive to the health, safety and wellbeing of staff and clients, and which make the maintenance of appropriate public safety standards very difficult.
It is of great credit to staff throughout the AP estate that they continue to do their best to carry out a difficult enough job without the problems being compounded in some areas by the lamentable performance of DWNC contractors. We have provided reports of failures to supply staff of the right calibre for shifts or even at all in some cases as well as resulting complications around applying the medication policy.
Napo has also responded to recent reports from members across the AP estate, especially in relation to Merseyside where we believe that the current operational situation as well as the intended implementation date for commencing new rotas are simply unacceptable. Senior HMPPS management have responded positively by confirming that each Approved Premises will only move to the new E3 rota when it is safe to do so. We also agreed to convene an urgent meeting between unions and senior NPS/HMPPS leads to review the overall position in relation to AP operations and the DWNC outsourcing.
Napo are insisting that senior representatives from Sodexo and OCS appear at this meeting to account for their performance so far on the DWNC contract and explain their plans to improve upon it. The unions will also be raising the above concerns directly with David Gauke, Secretary of State for Justice at our meeting at the end of the month.
National Chair Katie Lomas and General Secretary Ian Lawrence intend to visit Napo members and prospective members in the Merseyside area as soon as possible. They will also be reminding staff of their legal right to expect their employer to provide a safe working environment.
Members working in Approved Premises who feel that that they need to discuss specific health and safety issues can contact Sarah Friday National Official: firstname.lastname@example.org. Matters relating to the operation of rotas and DWNC can be sent in confidence to Katie and Ian via email@example.com