Celebrating Our Health Heroes

It was a real pleasure to have UNISON host the Our Health Heroes awards this afternoon.

As Britain’s biggest union for health workers – with half a million members in the NHS and other healthcare organisations – we’ll take any opportunity to praise the remarkable people who consistently provide excellence.

And that’s true whether they’re working directly with patients or working behind the scenes. UNISON has many members working in clinical support roles, but a large proportion of our health membership work in operational services.

Healthcare support workers, medical secretaries, therapy technicians and administrative workers.

Maternity support workers, cleaners, porters and cooks.

Healthcare managers, IT and accounts staff.

All of these employees and so many more are crucial to the running of our nation’s greatest achievement, the NHS. Without them, clinicians wouldn’t be able to do their work, and patients wouldn’t receive the care they deserve.

Too often this work is not properly recognised and that roles like these can be seen as an easy target when it comes to cuts or reorganisation. More needs to be done to celebrate the role of support service staff as an integral part of the NHS team. Our Health Heroes – and other UNISON initiatives like Public Service Champions and One Team campaign give us all a chance to shine a light on the excellence that is out there.

So let’s knock down the false barrier between so-called ‘front line’ and ‘back office’ staff, because everyone working in the health service is at the forefront of delivering world-class patient care.  And in UNISON, they all have a champion for them and the services they provide.