Royal commits to Dying to Work Charter
The Chesterfield Royal Hospital has made an official pledge to protect colleagues who become terminally ill at work.
Building on work that was already taking place, the Trust has signed the Dying to Work Charter, part of the TUC’s wider campaign to protect the rights of workers given a terminal diagnosis, ensuring that they can’t be dismissed against their will as a result of their condition.
The campaign began in 2016 following a Cancer diagnosis received by sales manager Jacci Woodcock in Derbyshire three years ago who subsequently lost her job. The Charter recognises that work can be a welcome, therapeutic distraction and this pledge ensures the Trust’s support for such employees to choose the best course of action for themselves and their families without undue financial loss.
The Charter was first brought to the Trust’s attention through its Health and Wellbeing Committee and was referred to the Staff Partnership Committee (SPC), representing the Trust’s workforce, and driven forward with the considerable help of the Palliative Care Team and its lead Consultant Dr David Brooks. It replicated a lot of work that the Trust had already done for its workforce and SPC Chair, Sarah Harrington-Pollock, took it to the Committee for approval.
“We heard about the Charter and felt that it fitted very well with the Trust’s values. It puts into words some of the things that the Trust does anyway and, in signing the charter and displaying it on the corridors of the hospital, it allows us to make that commitment in a very visual and public way.
“We’re highly committed to protecting the health and wellbeing of our staff and the committee, along with the SPC, has a very strong and practical presence within the Trust. I’m delighted that we’ve been able to get the backing of hospital leaders and this should be a message to any of our colleagues who receive the worst news that you will be supported and that your continued employment is not something that you need to worry about.”
Lee Barron, Midlands Regional Secretary for the TUC, said:-
“Your job should be the least of your worries when you get a terminal diagnosis. I’m delighted that Chesterfield Royal Hospital has shown real leadership in this area, working with unions to guarantee fair treatment for terminally ill workers.
“Around 600,000 workers are now covered by the Dying to Work Charter across the country, and we expect more employers to commit in the coming months.”