One Team for patient care

UNISON’s One Team campaign gives NHS support staff the recognition they deserve.

Who do people see when they think of NHS staff? Probably doctors, nurses and paramedics. But almost half the staff in the NHS (around 470,000 people) are in clinical support or infrastructure support roles – these include porters, medical secretaries, telephonists, cleaners, caretakers and laundry staff. These are the people who work behind the scenes to carry out vital roles to keep the NHS running, making sure patients and their families get the best treatment possible.

NHS support staff work tirelessly throughout the health service to clean wards, maintain vital equipment, order medical supplies, book appointments and cook meals – all to ensure that patients get the care they need.

What is UNISON doing for NHS support staff?

As the main union for support staff across the NHS, UNISON believes it is time that members of the public and politicians understood the role you play in delivering quality patient care. We think it’s unfair that you don’t get the recognition you deserve.

Support staff have been on the receiving end of cost-saving drives in the NHS, including job cuts, restructurings, zero hours contracts, downbanding and outsourcing.

Join UNISON now

UNISON campaigns to ensure that the NHS and its staff remain in the public sector. We campaign for you.

  • We have launched a new series of films that highlight the valuable work that support staff do in the NHS.
  • We are promoting the message that all staff, no matter what they do, play an important part in caring for patients.
  • We are campaigning to remove the false divide when politicians talk about ‘frontline’ and ‘back office’ NHS staff.
  • We are promoting the value of our support staff by campaigning against any attacks which come your way.

So what can you do as support staff working in the NHS?
  • If you’re not already a member, join UNISON so that you have a voice and can be part of our campaign.
  • Speak to your UNISON branch to get more details about our One Team campaign and our annual celebration of support staff during One Team week.


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Get involved!

Join us to celebrate the whole healthcare team during One Team week from 4-8 November 2019.

One Team Week is a celebration of NHS support staff, particularly those working in operational services. UNISON organises One Team Week each year as part of our One Team campaign to celebrate the porters, cleaners, admin and clerical staff, catering staff and all support workers who work tirelessly in the NHS, often without the recognition they deserve.

In November we are spending five days celebrating our amazing support staff and we want your workplace to be part of it. So, put 4-8 November in your diary and start planning how you will highlight the work these members do.

In the Resources section you will find material and ideas to help you celebrate the week. So, what are you waiting for? Start planning your celebration now.