Welcome to our website. We are a Health Care Sector UNISON branch with around 2500 members most of whom are employed by Greater Manchester Mental Health Trust. Our other members are employed by a wide range of mental health care employers across Greater Manchester including Independent Hospitals, Nursing Homes and GP Practices, or are Retired Members or Unemployed Members from the branches which merged to form this Greater Manchester Mental Health Branch.
We hope that you find this web site both helpful and of interest. We wish to provide information about the branch and how to access help when you need to, as well as having links to UNISON’s National and Regional Websites, and to organisations campaigning about the NHS and other issues.
In addition we hope to keep you up to date with activities and priorities of the branch. We see this branch as an active, campaigning UNISON branch and hope to provide you with details of upcoming events we will be attending as well as reports, links and photographs as we develop this website.
There is a contact form available for you to contact the website administrators. There are further contact details of branch officers and stewards under the ‘Branch Activists’ tab.
Branch members and Manchester User Network members held a Valentine’s Day demonstration against the cuts in Mental Health Services on Saturday 14th February. We handed out postcards and asked people to sign petitions to say that we Love Manchester but HATE the cuts which the city council is making in public health funded services.
Recovery & Connect, Supported Housing, Community Floating Support and the Health & Wellbeing Service are all facing massive cuts or total closure. The responses the branch submitted to the council’s consultation are available from the Branch Office. The council have paid no attention to our call for the cuts to be halted because of the devastating effect they will have on service users and on staff.
We will be lobbying the full council meeting on Friday 6th March, from 9am on the Town Hall steps in Albert Square. Please come to show your disgust at these cuts to essential mental health services.
Following the very successful Crisis in Mental Health meeting in November 2014, various campaign actions are being planned. These include:
Valentine’s Day Protest, Saturday 14th February, 11.00 Albert Square: against the proposed cuts in mental health services.
Lobby of City Council meeting when budget decision will be confirmed, Friday 6th March, 9am, Town Hall steps, Albert Square.
Crisis in Mental Health Services Conference, Saturday 14th March, 11am-3pm, at Methodist Central Hall, Oldham Street, Manchester M1 1JQ. There will be speakers, workshops, campaigning ideas.
This branch supports unison’s call for a change in whistleblowing laws. The current laws are too narrow and not fit for purpose.
Our employer is currently using their whistle Blowing policy to look at concerns raised by individual and groups of staff (including many Unison Members) but the laws are they are and employers policies do not stand up to true whistleblowing and can make it more difficult rather than easier for staff to have concerns answered.
Members of the branch executive have recently had training about the Francis Report and how to ensure the Trust Executive & Managers are compliant with their responsibilities to care. The whistleblowing policy is just one part of this.
Look out for a UNISON Survey for members and non-members – Being sent to you and delivered to your work areas soon!
We will be shortly sending surveys to members within the Mental Health Trust to find a snap shot of how they are currently find their working practices and pressures within their roles.
UNISON calls for change to hospital whistleblowing laws
UNISON, the UK’s largest union, has called for a change to whistleblowing laws in the NHS to make sure that all staff are able to report concerns with confidence.
In a report that examines the overall lessons that should be learnt from the Francis, Berwick, Keogh and Cavendish investigations into the NHS, UNISON has made a number of key recommendations that it believes will help to change the culture in the NHS.
The union says that its recommendations will ensure that staff are engaged, valued, listened to and ultimately able to deliver better standards of patient care.
Click here to read Unison Head of Health, Christina McAnae’s opinion …
“It is essential that ALL staff in the NHS across grades and occupations, have a voice and are listened to. There is an urgent need to reassure patients that staff are confident to raise concerns and that those concerns will be dealt with.
“NHS Trust Boards should have to take account of staff views and have a designated board member responsible for these issues. Leaving it up to individual members of staff is just not good enough – it should be made easier for unions to raise issues on behalf of groups of staff and ensure they are protected from harassment and bullying.
“The best NHS organisations have robust, effective partnership working with the trade unions at the heart of their business. That directly leads to better patient outcomes. The Government should commit to ensuring the NHS achieves this universally and drops it ill-conceived reforms. ”
The union’s recommendations include:
A change to the whistleblowing legislation to enable groups of staff to raise the same concern and receive the same protection as though they were individuals.
To commit to safe staffing levels, including the introduction of a minimum nurse:patient ratio of 1 nurse to 4 patients.
To place greater emphasis on long-term improvements to patient care rather than a short-term approach to arbitrary cost-cutting targets.
To commission and commit to real staff and trade union engagement including looking at research and different models of how that can be achieved.
To designate a non-executive board member responsible for patient satisfaction and staff engagement.