Privatisation, Franchising and Procurement

Conference notes the alarming expansion of privatisation within the English NHS. For example, the NHS Support Federation found that the private sector had won 21 of the first 25 NHS contracts awarded since April 2013, and it has been estimated that £5bn of NHS work is now up for grabs. Since the abolition of the […]

Legal Framework for Regulators

Following the publishing of the Francis, Keogh and Berwick reports into Mid Staffs it has become abundantly clear that much of the failures were organisational in nature. Further, that these failings in part were condoned by very senior and executive staff within that organisation. Clearly, the Government shows some recognition of the organisational failures within […]

Reclaiming the NHS Agenda for Workers and Users Alike

At the public launch of the World Health Organisation Europe Report on health inequalities in 2013, internationally acclaimed Chairperson, Professor Michael Marmot stated that, “The Conservative-led Coalition government uses the word ‘fairness’ as if it has no meaning at all. They cut the top rate of tax – and they call it ‘fair’. They cut […]

Protecting and Promoting Equality in NHS Pay and Conditions

Both the UK government and all devolved governments in the UK have a statutory duty to promote equality of opportunity. Most recently the UN Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) concluded that the UK Government had failed to take steps to ensure that there was even application of equality requirements. Agenda for […]

Career Pathways in the Ambulance Service

Conference notes with concern the negative impact job re-design and privatisation is having on career pathways in the ambulance service. The increased use of private ambulance companies in the provision of patient transport services (PTS) has seen significant numbers of UNISON members being transferred outside of the NHS. Not only does this represent a threat […]

Supporting Outsourced Members

Conference notes the continuing trend for NHS Trusts to outsource services such as Learning Disability Services, to companies such as Thera, Creative Support, and others. Increasingly members who are transferred to such organisations under TUPE, have seen serious attacks on terms and conditions. In some cases, the transferred staff, on protected NHS terms and conditions, […]

Categorisation in the Ambulance Service

National guidelines state that at least 75% of the most serious Category ‘A’ 999 calls should be responded to within eight minutes (Red 1 target). But less than half of trusts are able to meet their target to reach the most critically ill patients within this time. These delays are caused by a range of […]

Registration for Healthcare Assistants

HCAs feel undervalued and under the spotlight. HCAs perform one of the most important caring roles; they provide the frontline fundamentals of care, including bathing, helping vulnerable people to eat and go to the bathroom with dignity. Statistics show that HCAs and other support worker roles deliver up to 60% of direct patient care and […]

Resisting Downbandings/Pay Cuts.

Conference notes with alarm that the downbanding of NHS workers’, jobs has increased nationwide as more and more Trusts come under financial pressure. The downbandings may take place under the guise of service or skill mix reviews but in reality they are most likely to result in workers doing the same job for less pay. […]

Be Safe Training

We congratulate UNISON for the work it has done after the publication of the Francis Public Inquiry into care failings at Mid Staffordshire NHS Trust. It is essential that we continue to prioritise the Be Safe training. We are encouraged that a small number of branches have volunteered to act as early implementer sites to […]

How We Want To Work – A Charter for the NHS Workforce

Conference recognises that in the run-up to the general election, all political parties will be setting out their policies on the NHS including the structures in the four countries and the ideological differences behind them; the different approaches to integration with social care, and outcomes for patients and the way that serious complaints are handled. […]

Mental Health Services

Conference notes that mental health accounts for 23% of the total burden of disease, yet receives only 13% of NHS health expenditure. It is predictable that in a recession, demand for mental health services rises, as the impact of austerity and welfare reforms, rising unemployment and increase in cost of living has a detrimental impact […]

Pay Resolution 2014

Conference notes that the difference between the highest and lowest paid is increasing year on year. Each year the pay divide gets greater and our members feel that the cost of living increase is no longer fit for purpose. An increase of just 1% each year is actually a decrease in real terms, as the […]

Equality and Diversity Training for Health Staff

Conference notes with concern that an increasing number of employers are not using the Agenda for Change Knowledge and Skills Framework (KSF) on which to base their appraisal schemes, but are opting for alternative methodologies. This has particularly come to light following the changes to the Agenda for Change contract in England, which has required […]

Learning and Partnership Working

Conference notes the hard work of the union in campaigning and working in partnership with NHS employers, the Department of Health, Skills for Health to improve training and make development opportunities available for NHS staff, particularly staff on lower bands, have paid off. Last year through partnership working the Social Partnership Forum Learning for Life […]