Photo of NHS operational services staff. One Team for patient care

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

We’re gearing up to celebrate One Team Day on 10 November – check out the ‘Get ready’ and ‘Resources’ sections at the bottom of the page to get involved!

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 unsung heroes have played a vital role in the NHS response to COVID-19 and will continue to do so throughout the pandemic.

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.

These staff don’t always get the recognition they deserve, but UNISON is proud to represent them, and proud of the important role they all play in patient care.

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 they play in delivering quality patient care. We think it’s unfair that they don’t get the recognition they so clearly 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

  • We campaign to ensure that the NHS and its staff remain in the public sector. We campaign for the whole team of staff it takes to provide health services across the UK.
  • We have 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 attempt to devalue the work they do and underplay the role they play in patient care.

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 Day


UNISON welcomes government promise to improve hospital food

A victory in UNISON’s campaign for nutritious and affordable food for hospital workers

Public don’t want NHS staff outsourced to private companies

Workers should stay within NHS, survey shows

Nursing associates a ‘fantastic addition’ to the NHS team

Nursing and Midwifery Council’s Andrea Sutcliffe praises the new members of the register – and launches development of five-year strategy at health conference

Margaret Canavan – a true health hero

Belfast ward housekeeper and UNISON member named ‘operational support worker of the year’ at prestigious awards ceremony

‘We can’t sleepwalk into another Windrush’

MPs voice cross-party support for protecting the rights of all five million EU and UK citizens threatened by Brexit

Get ready for One Team Day

Join us to celebrate the whole healthcare team during One Team Day on 10 November 2021.

One Team Day is a celebration of NHS support staff, particularly those working in operational services. UNISON organises One Team celebrations 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.

On 10 November we are spending the day celebrating our amazing support staff and we want your workplace to be part of it. So, put the date in your diary and start planning how you will highlight the work these members do.

Get ordering from the UNISON Shop – you’ll find leaflets, postcards, badges, stickers, T-shirts, bags, pens and more.

Visit the Shop

Download and share social media graphics on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Get the graphics

And in the Resources section you will find more materials and a branch guide to help you celebrate. So, what are you waiting for? Start planning your celebration now!