Mental health

Mental health services have been underfunded in the UK for a number of years, having a negative impact on both staff and service users. Funding cuts mean that teams are often under resourced, with staff working long hours and struggling to deliver the highest levels of care. Service users are left on long waiting lists […]

Pay restoration in Northern Ireland

Conference notes that workers in the NHS in Northern Ireland are currently in a pay deficit. All Agenda for Change pay bands are affected . The facts tell the story of a widening gap affecting not only current earning but pensions will also be poorer. At the end of 2017 a Band 2 worker at […]

Recognition for Operating Department Practitioners

Conference notes that Operating Department Practitioners have been working within the NHS for over 50 years under varying titles. ODPs have only been regulated by the Health and Care Professions Council since 2004. Conference further notes that there are over 13,000 registered ODPs and they are a valued member of the multi-disciplinary team, they are […]

Disability leave

Disability leave is time off from work for a reason related to someone’s disability. It is a type of ‘reasonable adjustment’ which disabled workers are entitled to under the Equality Act 2010. Conference is aware that there is still inequality for many of our disabled members and they continue to be treated unfavourably at work. […]

Disability awareness training

Conference recognises that there is a lack of disability awareness training for managers and is concerned about the impact this is having on disabled members in health branches and employers. There continues to be a lack of understanding of the needs of disabled employees in the workplace leading many employers to fail to make reasonable […]

Regulation that works for patients and registrants

Conference notes the ‘Promoting professionalism, reforming regulation’ consultation by the four UK governments which closed in January 2018. This consultation was long overdue but now that it is finally moving forward, Conference believes it presents opportunities to rationalise the system of professional regulation in healthcare and make it fit for the 21st century. Conference notes […]

Diverse routes to qualification – assuring quality, identifying the issues

Conference notes and welcomes efforts by employers and policy-makers to diversify routes into the healthcare professions. We are now seeing the development of a variety of options into different professions including traineeships, secondments, apprenticeships and postgraduate fast-track routes like Nurse First. However Conference is concerned that there does not appear to be any overarching strategy […]

Disclosure and Barring Service – Electronic Update Service – Employer Efficiencies and Savings achieved by costs to workers

Conference is fully aware of the continuous pressures placed upon NHS Organisations to make efficiency savings in both costs and systems. The NHS Employers have highlighted the work undertaken from the Junior Doctor recruitment experience in London, and a National Streamlining Steering Group was established to roll out the collaborative working programme on a regional […]

Negotiating good trans equality policies with health employers

Conference notes that despite lack of data collection by health care employers on the experiences of trans staff, we know that trans health workers experience disproportionate levels of harassment and discrimination. A 2017 TUC report showed that 48% of trans workers had experienced bullying and harassment, compared to a third of non-trans workers. Stonewall’s most […]

Effective equality and diversity initiatives in health

Conference welcomes the acknowledgement of the need to tackle bullying across the health service and to promote equality and diversity. However, conference believes that health employers’ equality intentions are not always backed up by effective actions. Conference notes that with health employers across the UK, essential and mandatory equality and diversity training is increasingly delivered […]

Organising around pay

Conference congratulates the Scottish Health Committee on a successful Scrap the Cap campaign which has led to the Scottish Government publicly announcing an end to their 1% public sector pay policy. Conference notes that this was down to the organisation within branches by both activists and members which included the Scrap the Cap Facebook page […]

Structure of the Service Group Executive

Conference notes that the structure of our SGE has pretty much remained unchanged since the formation of UNISON nearly a quarter of a century ago. However within this time period there have been considerable changes to both the NHS and to pay for healthcare workers. The UNISON definition of Low Pay is based on the […]

Devolution and conference

Conference welcomes the work done by the Service Group Executive and the devolved nations in setting up the Devolution Working Group and congratulates them on the work done so far. However we still have a bit to go when finalising the Conference agenda and particularly guest speakers. Health is a devolved matter so when the […]

Organising and recruiting the Nursing Associate in England

The NHS nursing workforce is changing owing to the growing shortage of registered nurses. In an aging workforce, large numbers are retiring owing to the sheer pressure they are under trying to juggle staff shortages and more complex patient needs. They are worn out and demoralised and to add to this the intake has dropped […]

Lifelong Learning

Conference recognises the continued under-funding of education and training for NHS staff. The NHS Constitution states that employers have a responsibility for ensuring the ongoing learning needs of their workforce are met. Maintaining skills and supporting personal development is a vital part of supporting a quality service that fully meets the needs of patients and […]