UNISON campaigns to ensure that everyone who works in the NHS is valued – whatever role they do.

UNISON’s One Team campaign aims to give NHS support staff the recognition they deserve.

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



Evelyn Beckley: ‘a shining example of hard-working NHS support staff’

UNISON member wins award for ‘operational services excellence’ at NHS England Windrush Awards to mark 70th anniversary of NHS

picket line at Royal Albert Edward Infirmary, Wigan

North west hospital workers set for second strike over outsourcing

‘I was a bit nervous about coming out on strike, but we’ve all stood together and supported each other,’ says Carol, a domestic at Wrightington, Wigan and Leight NHS Trust

NHS trust workers demonstrating against the plans

I love working for the NHS – so I’m striking against being outsourced

Wrightington, Wigan and Leigh hospital staff strike for 48 hours over plans to outsource their jobs to wholly owned private company

NHS trust workers demonstrating against the plans

Wigan hospital staff vote for strike over outsourcing plans

NHS trust’s plans to move jobs and workers to its own private company sees 89% vote for strike – in a 79% turn-out

Ms Smith Goes to Westminster

Former UNISON president Eleanor Smith reflects on an historic general election victory and her first months as an MP

The issue

All NHS staff are essential
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, often unseen by patients, who carry out the hundreds of different roles that help to ensure the health service provides quality patient care.
All NHS staff, whatever their job, play an essential role in making sure patients are looked after and provided with the care they need.
Without cleaning staff wards wouldn’t be safe, without finance staff bills wouldn’t be paid and without porters, many patients wouldn’t be able to move around hospital wards.
Keep support staff within the NHS
A growing number of support roles within the NHS such as finance, IT and cleaning have been outsourced to private sector companies such as Capita, Serco and Sodexo. This can leave these staff more vulnerable to attacks on their terms and conditions. Support staff are increasingly asked to work on zero hours contracts and are often the first to be targeted for redundancy, downbanding and recruitment freezes.
UNISON campaigns to ensure that the NHS and its staff remain in the public sector. We campaign for you.

Tell us your story


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