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2016 Health Care Service Group Conference
7 December 2015

Conference notes we continue to see the true extent of the Health and Social Care Bill and the Tory Government’s plans for the NHS. We are seeing the widespread privatisation and fragmentation of our NHS. Our members losing their jobs, forced into the private sector where profits are put before patient care.

The recent threat we are facing is the establishment of Trading Companies. In some areas we are seeing the re-introduction of a ‘two-tier’ workforce as the NHS Terms and Conditions of employees of these new companies are either reduced or removed.

Conference welcomes UNISON’s Guide Resisting Privatisation in the NHS. However, we must do more and build upon this. Our members and activists need updated training and supporting in understanding the new structures, how they work and clear information on how this impacts on staff. Members should have the knowledge to challenge commissioning decisions, whether this be via Clinical Commissioning Groups or Local Authorities.

Conference further notes the need to ensure that our members know how to open constructive dialogue with those who hold positions on these new structures. Whether this is through patient involvement groups via the new Healthwatch or through local councillors on Health and Wellbeing Boards, we need to ensure our members are equipped with the necessary skills and information not only to prevent the onslaught of privatisation but in doing so protecting our members jobs and terms and conditions of employment.

Conference therefore calls on the SGE to:

1)Work with Learning and Organising Services to produce appropriate training modules to assist health branch activists in influencing the NHS agenda.

2)Encourage and support health branches to participate in or establish local community coalitions in order to widen and strengthen the sphere of influence.

3)Use our agreed political routes to lobby against further privatisation and fragmentation of our NHS.