Mental health: a trade union issue

Conference notes the huge impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on mental health, whether on staff working under stressful conditions, people isolated from friends and family by lockdown measures, the physical impact of the virus itself, and the continuing uncertainty due to changing and unreliable government advice and public health policies. Health sector staff have been […]


This Conference notes the last twelve months has seen a significant nursing staffing crisis develop within all of the countries of the United Kingdom. Staffing shortages have increased on an almost daily basis over the last year to the extent that regions and individual hospital and community services are now experiencing nursing vacancies of up […]


Conference believes as we gradually begin to recover from the Covid 19 Pandemic there is no better time to consider a 35-hour working week for the benefit of our members. Conference considers it is time to work towards fulfilling the promises made under the original Agenda for Change scheme. Conference recognises that many of our […]

Post COVID-19 Syndrome and Healthcare workers

Conference notes that in the two years since COVID-19 emerged, we can see the devastating affects it has had on those impacted by Post-Covid-19 Syndrome. Common symptoms of Post-Covid-19 Syndrome include (but are not limited to) fatigue, brain fog, shortness of breath, difficulty concentrating, pain and changes in mood. Symptoms can often be fluctuating which […]

Recruiting, supporting and developing young activists across the Health service group

This Conference notes that recruitment of young members continues to increase year on year, including in the Health sector, with over 27,000 new young members joining UNISON in 2020. This conference notes that young members continue, however, to be under-represented as UNISON stewards, representatives and officers. Conference notes the success of the student nurse network […]

Ambulance pressures – the impact on all ambulance sector staff and patients

Conference notes with concern, the detrimental impact of ongoing pressures within ambulance services on both staff and patients. Across ambulance services, staff working in a wide range of roles work together to deliver the best care for patients. Now increasing demands on already-stretched services mean staff are experiencing poor mental health as they work under […]

Recognition and reward for Peer/Lived Experience workers

There is increasing involvement of Peer/Lived Experience (LE) workers within mental health services. These are individuals whose role is framed by making constructive use of personal experience of their own mental health difficulties and vulnerabilities. Such roles exist in a number of different contexts where such use of self is valued as the key element […]

The unacceptable sexual harassment culture in nursing

The murders of Sarah Everard and Sabina Nessa in England in 2021 prompted widespread anger and a very public debate over the issue of violence against women in all parts of society. The #MeToo movement has shown repeatedly that sexual harassment is still common with insidious, often devastating consequences for those affected. Though sexual harassment […]

Ensuring our Public Health Services are fit for purpose in a Post-Pandemic future

When Covid 19 happened in March 2020 we entered a period of rapid change across the public sector in which many of the previously insurmountable barriers to change appeared to fall away. This was nowhere more evident than in the case of the National Health Service. Our healthcare system, faced with transforming almost overnight to […]

Supporting Widening Access to Nursing

Conference notes that UNISON branches have been dealing with the effects of staffing shortages for years but over the last 2 years there have been massive shortages of registered nurses across all specialties. This puts patient care at risk Conference believes that there is an urgent need for more registered nursing staff. Given that there […]

International recruitment and support for migrant healthcare workers

For a long time, the UK has benefited enormously from the skills and knowledge of healthcare workers who have come to live and work with us. From the early days of the NHS and the ‘Windrush’ generation to our own times, where many tens of thousands of nurses and doctors from all over the world […]

Promoting and supporting NHS Green Travel Plans

NHS organisations should be reducing their carbon footprint as part of the NHS commitment to reach net zero carbon emissions by 2040. The NHS accounts for 5% of the UKs total amount emissions, with 14% of this being made up of emissions caused by travel. At the same time, the cost of motoring is at […]

Getting organised on flexible working and delivering homeworking policies fit for the future

Conference notes the work led by UNISON in all four administrations on flexible working including negotiating improved handbook provisions; negotiating updates to local flexible working policies; promoting workplace cultural change; and supporting members to access their rights. Conference commends the composite passed at special health conference in September 2021 which highlighted the crucial role that […]

NHS pay outcomes for 2022-23 – conduct of member consultations across the UK

Conference underlines the critical importance of delivering 2022-23 pay outcomes for health workers across the UK that meet the aspirations of our members and the needs of the service. Conference re-affirms the respective responsibilities of the Health Service Group Executive (HSGE) and the relevant Regional Health Committees (RHCs) in the devolved administrations to ensure that […]

Delivering a just transition to a carbon neutral NHS

In 2021, the UN’s COP 26 event in Glasgow brought focus to the global challenge of climate change. Conference notes the launch of UNISON’s report Getting to net zero in UK public services: The road to decarbonisation on 8 November 2021 and health branches’ ongoing involvement in the accompanying consultation. We look forward to engaging […]