A Forgotten Sector. The Training of Ancillary Staff in by Duncan N. Smith

By Duncan N. Smith

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Extra resources for A Forgotten Sector. The Training of Ancillary Staff in Hospitals

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T h e r e were some unfilled vacancies, b u t these were mainly due to a desire to wait for the right recruits and there was no sign of a frantic search for staff of a n y type. Indeed, slight understaffing, with some resultant overtime, was thought by some to have advantages. Awkward problems were, however, caused by absenteeism. Abuse of sick-pay regulations was confined to a minority, b u t this could be infectious a n d destructive of morale. O n e view was that a bonus for regular attendance might help.

T h e article mentioned in Chapter 4, p . 39, also recorded that the a n n u a l turnover in a hospital dining room was 148%. Such information as exists, however, indicates that such figures are more the exception than the rule. It seems, however, very rare for hospitals to record turnover figures, partly, perhaps, because they are not required for any national returns. I n 1965 a n d 1966, however, the Ministry asked for turnover indices from a small sample of Groups. These were asked to state the numbers of "leavers" in ancillary grades a n d the numbers of posts which were not vacated during a year.

It seems very significant that at this hospital the numbers ofjuveniles employed in the kitchens a n d dining rooms is four times as high as in any other hospital surveyed a n d ten times as high as in most of the remainder. The N e e d for Stimulus and some Possible Developments Apart, however, from these rather exceptional circumstances how m u c h can be done? I t would seem that m a n y dining-room supervisors are badly in need of some stimulus. Inevitably they tend to accept a standard which has become habitual a n d normally have little chance of comparing it with others.

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