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  • Gordon McKay

UNISON Health Conference: Day 2 AM "This is what solidarity looks like"

Health Group Conference began its second day with an emotional and powerful speech from Iryna Shvets of the Ukrainian Health Workers Union of Ukraine describing the attacks on bombing of over fifty hospitals in Ukraine, including maternity and children's hospitals. She also spoke of her thanks to UNISON for the financial and practical support we have gave such as the donation of ten ambulances from London Ambulance Branch.


A statement on the situation on Ukraine was then made by Gordon McKay on behalf of the Service Group Executive condemning Putin’s invasion, calling for an immediate ceasefire and supporting sanctions against Russia.


The mornings motions concentrated on staffing issues and the longest debate of Conference so far was on staffing levels showing the importance of the issue for UNISON members as workloads increase, waiting lists lengthen and people are becoming more ill but staff numbers fall and patient safety and well-being is put at risk. Emphasis was placed on the importance of safe staffing right across the workforce, nursing, AHP’s, ancillary, administration and technical as UNISON recognises the importance of the contribution of all our members to a world class service.


Conference also agreed to campaign for improved to Nursing, Midwifery and AHP training programmes particularly for HealthCare Support Workers by abolishing tuition fees for the education programmes. On training and development Conference agreed to campaign for equal access to training and development for all NHS staff. The NHS has a dedicated staff group who deserve to be offered training to allow them to provide care, to those who need it, at their highest potential.


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