Health Conference

UNISON’s National Health Conference has started this week in Liverpool, as a branch we have delegates attending and under discussion already is the Health bursary. The removal of the bursary in Autumn this year has already had a disastrous impact on nurse places.

The House of Lords will discuss the 25% drop in nursing degree applications following the proposals. At the same time, Brexit has already reduced European Union migrant nursing and midwifery registrations by more than 90%.

For the full article please visit:

For more information on the issues discussed at conference please visit:


Crisis in Home Care

UNISON has been campaigning on the crisis in homecare for a long time. Due to government cuts, councils are increasingly outsourcing the care of the most vulnerable people in our society – the sick, the old and the disabled. It results in illegally low wages and 15-minute visits.

UNISON have made a short film highlighting this issue you can view it at:

A petition has been started asking for more funding for social care:

Are You a Nursing Associate?

The first 1,000 trainee nursing associates started their training programme in January, and the second 1,000 are due to start in April.

UNISON has set up a Facebook group for trainee nursing associates. It is a closed group so only verified members can join. We hope it will provide a safe space where UNISON trainee nursing associates can interact with each other, and we can engage with them as a group on key issues such as plans for forthcoming NMC regulation.

If you are on the nursing associate programme, please use this link to our nursing associate webpage: From here you can join the closed Facebook Page.

If you are on the programme please also inform your local Branch that your role has changed so we can update the UNISON database.

Do you know an Outstanding Care Assistant?

If the answer is yes then it is time to nominate them for an award sponsored by UNISON

An awards scheme run by the Cavell Nurses Trust is to celebrate the work of healthcare assistants for the first time.

UNISON is encouraging health professionals to nominate colleagues who demonstrate consistently high standards of care in their work as part of the NHS team.

More information can be found at:

To nominate please follow this link:

Changes with Agency Staff in the NHS

The NHS from the 1 April 2017 will not be using agencies to employ individuals who are substantively employed elsewhere in the NHS. Trusts subject to the agency rules will only be able to engage substantive NHS staff working additional hours through staff banks, and / or overtime, and deduct PAYE as appropriate.

UNISON’s Concerns:

Our recent pay survey results showed that – of those doing additional work – 7% were doing this via agencies.  This is therefore likely to cut off an existing route by which members can ‘top up’ their salary to make up for inadequate pay rises.

If this instruction leads to more staff being asked to work additional hours, we  will want our members to be paid at the correct rate.

Staff in the NHS are already working under considerable pressure.  This instruction may translate into greater demands for staff to work extra hours.  We are worried that the potential impact on the health and wellbeing of staff may not be considered.

If this impacts you as members we want to hear from you, please talk to your local reps.

NHS Improvement has paused plans to ban health service employees from picking up extra work with agencies, following a campaign by UNISON.

UNISON head of health Christina McAnea has made a statement on the National UNISON website:

Pay Review Body Recommends 1% Pay Increase For NHS Staff

Health care staff are working hard to provide services in challenging situations and under increasing pressure. Staff are giving 100% but only getting a 1% pay rise in return. We need to fight for a descent pay rise as the gap is growing between take home pay and household expenditure.

Low pay also makes it tough for the NHS to hold onto experienced employees and recruit the next generation. And without enough staff, patient care will suffer.

What do you think as our members about the pay increase, please talk to your local reps and give us your views.



Free Eye Test for UNISON Members

In support of World Glaucoma Week 2017, Vision Express are sending the Vision Van throughout the UK to provide Free Eye Tests for all.

As a UNISON member, for a limited time only, you can receive a Free Eye Test voucher too.  All you need to do is visit, fill in the online form and your Free Eye Test – No Minimum Spend voucher will be emailed to you.

The voucher is only available for download until Sunday 26th March 2017, but once you’ve got it, you have until Sunday 30th April to redeem your Free Eye Test.
World Glaucoma week takes place from the 12th-18th March. It is organised in partnership by the World Glaucoma Association and the World Glaucoma Patient Association to raise awareness for Glaucoma and eliminate further sight loss across the world. For more information, check their website:
Terms and conditions apply, please see the voucher for details.