NHS Staff and the European Working Time Directive

Workers in the NHS have always worked long hours with minimal breaks and the safeguards introduced by the European working time directive have often been either ignored completely or not enforced in many areas due to being short staffed or excessive workloads. There is now a move from NHS organisations to finally come into line […]

Retirement age for ambulance members

Ambulance staff work in uncontrollable and challenging environments. They are often subjected to abuse and injuries undertaking their duties. The Government doesn’t consider ambulance services to be emergency services and describes them as essential services. With the current proposed changes to retirement age this presents a difficult and a seemingly impossible challenge to our members […]

Flexible working option for all

Conference notes that despite numerous attempts to ensure that employers have a consistent approach to dealing with flexible working requests, there are still widespread differences. As a significant number of health staff are shift workers, and therefore more likely to require flexible working patterns, it is important we are able to address this issue. Particularly […]

NHS reforms – defending public health

The turn of the millennium is often said to have witnessed a second golden age for Public Health across the UK. In the late 1990s and 2000s new programmes, services and initiatives were commissioned and launched intended to improve the health of our citizens and more directly to reduce the growing health divide between the […]

Promoting the organising agenda

Conference recognises that the day of action for Pensions Justice on 30th of November was a major success in mobilising UNISON NHS members. Conference notes that the build up to this day of action saw a sharp increase in recruitment as well as the drawing in to activity of many previously inactive members. Conference notes […]

Attacks on Agenda for Change in non-foundation trusts

Conference notes that there have been attempts to make substantial changes to Agenda for Change terms and conditions, mostly among foundation trusts, such as making all incremental progression dependent on high levels of attendance, compliance with training, etc or in other areas imposing incremental freezes on top of the national pay award freeze. Conference further […]

Regulation of Healthcare Assistants

UNISON reaffirms its position on regulation for Healthcare Assistants. While welcoming the move to regulate Healthcare Assistants, we remain concerned with the lack of progress in some areas and the fragmented approach across the UK. The NHS is increasingly reliant on Healthcare Assistants but as some high profile cases have shown there are huge variations […]

Community and trade union organising for health branches

Conference notes that UNISON is committed to models of reciprocal community organising and that these approaches in a health context necessarily involve seeking to forge alliances with service user and wider disability groups and social movements. UNISON should also be congratulated for the excellent booklet ‘Working with local communities to fight cuts and privatisation: a […]

Human Error and No Blame Culture

Health Conference notes that it is not unusual that NHS and other health care staff are subject to disciplinary action as a consequence of the reporting of adverse incidents which have resulted from human error. There is a pressing need to develop a process for dealing with adverse incidents that reserves disciplinary action for the […]

UNISON: the principal union for staff within the Science, Therapies and Technical occupational group

Conference notes that the PTA and PTB sector committees will be merging to become the Science, Therapies and Technical occupational group. This new occupational group will cover a wide variety of different staff roles within the NHS. Conference further notes that the Government’s current financial and reform agenda is having a damaging impact on this […]

Fighting cuts in mental health services

Mental health services have always been under-resourced in relation to the scale of health need. Since the foundation of the NHS they have suffered from the social stigma associated with mental illness; firstly housed in remote, locked “asylums”, they were never the recipients of proportionate increases in funding as health services budgets increased; staff received […]

The impact of an ageing workforce on Allied Health Professionals

Conference believes that the NHS needs to attract and retain the best Allied Health Professionals (AHPs) to ensure good quality services to patients. However, the AHP workforce is ageing, with a fall in the youngest age group and a rise in age groups of 45 and over. This creates difficulties in attracting new staff, since […]

Congratulate all those for achieving the yes vote in the pensions ballot

Bucks Health branch of UNISON recognises all the hard work and effort that has gone into getting a yes vote for the pensions dispute, despite the state of the economy and with many fearing for their jobs. We note that the lead given by the union leadership and branch activists has been successful in getting […]

Any Qualified Provider

Conference is extremely alarmed by the roll out of Any Qualified Provider (AQP). Following experiences with the implementation of the similar Any Willing Provider policy on a West Midlands smoking cessation service, the contract was written in such a way that a number of NHS staff were lawfully made redundant as TUPE did not apply […]

Shared services integration

Conference notes the damaging effects to patients and NHS staff through the privatisation of NHS shared services in England. Since 2005, shared services such as finance, accountancy, human resources, payroll and family health services have been contracted out to NHS Shared Business Services (NHS SBS). NHS SBS is a joint venture between the NHS and […]