At the 2007 Retired Members’ Annual Conference, an Emergency Motion was carried, with the third highest support, calling for a single Government Minister for responsibility for the Elderly. Since then a Commissioner for the Elderly has been appointed for Wales, by the Welsh Assembly, with responsibility for ensuring all aspects for the elderly receive appropriate […]


The age addition to the over 80s was first introduced in 1971. The value was set at 25p representing 5% of the weekly State Pension of £5. It was a welcome addition. If it had risen relative to the State Pension it would now be worth about £4.50 a week. The mighty amount of 25p […]


This conference recognises that the government’s simplification of dental charges was a worthy aim. However, it has recently been announced that dental charges paid by NHS patients have increased by over £1 million per week. There are three bands of charging and it would appear that many treatments are charged at the highest band of […]


This conference calls upon the National Retired Members’ Committee and the National Executive Council to make representations to government on behalf of pensioners protesting against a reduction in the chiropody service through the closure of chiropody clinics.


It has been more than ten years since we were promised that all hospital wards would be ‘single sex’. We are now advised that this will now not be possible and that hospitals will be encouraged to work towards providing ‘single bays’ We recognise that whilst everyone is concerned by this decision we consider that […]


Conference has been appalled to read in the press that a retired couple elected to commit suicide rather than face being separated into different care homes when one partner becomes unable to care for the other. It is unacceptable that couples who’ve been together for most of their lives are separated at a time when […]


This Retired Members’ Conference deplores the inequality in Social Care in the Community. Having closed Old People’s Homes and promising that this was so that the money could be used to assist people in their own homes, it appears to be another postcode lottery as to what assistance is given and to what is free […]


Conference notes that 3.5 million older people in the UK live alone due to factors which include bereavement and social isolation. Women are particularly affected as they are more likely than men to be widowed e.g. 3 in 5 women aged 75 and over live alone. Conference further notes that for single persons or persons […]

Local Strategic Partnerships

Conference notes that services delivered under the auspices of “Local Strategic Partnerships” (LSP’s) will have an increasingly significant impact on UNISON members in many Service Groups; but it will impact in particular, and sooner, on members in Local Government because of the leading role local authorities have in LSP’s and the planned shift in funding. […]

Comprehensive Spending Review and Local Government Funding

Conference welcomes the increased flexibility that has been given to local authorities to focus their spending on local needs. The conversion of many ring-fenced grants in both England (through Area Based Grants) and Scotland (as agreed in the Scottish Local Government Concordat) to general funding is welcome. The burden of assessment of council services is […]

Heading for a Student Crisis/Supporting the Future of Health Professions

Health students across the National Health Service face significant challenges throughout their studies; to become the nurses, midwives, paramedics, occupational therapists, operating department practitioners and social workers of the future. With clinical placements and high course hours on top of their academic work, the knowledge of a secure job at the end is a significant […]

Mental Health Services

Conference is appalled that mental health services are still so poorly funded in comparison with other parts of the NHS and that some staff in mental health teams are increasingly taking on more responsible roles, without the appropriate acknowledgement or reward for doing so. Government promises to prioritise mental health services have not been carried […]

Violence & Assault Agaisnt NHS Staff

Conference notes the statistics published by the NHS Security Management Service for 2006-7 showing a fall in violence against NHS staff in England. However Conference is concerned that in both the Ambulance and Mental Healthcare sectors the reduction was significantly less than elsewhere and front line workers in these areas continue to face unacceptable levels […]

Downgrading through Restructuring

This conference is concerned that many NHS employers are seeking to avoid their obligations under the Agenda for Change agreement by conducting restructurings of their organisations, or sections or departments within them, to deliberately achieve the down-banding or down-grading of staff, particularly those in clinical or therapy or professional specialist or leadership posts. The government’s […]

Supporting Cleaning Staff and the Cleaner Hospitals Campaign

Conference notes the attention given to hospital infection rates, and the resulting government campaign for cleaner hospitals. Because of the requirement to make huge efficiency savings and continuing lack of resources, cleanliness in hospitals is suffering and more and more cleaning staff are having to take on extra duties including “hands-on” patient care. We note […]