News & archive - 2012


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This page contains letters, documents, agendas, minutes, bulletins, reports, notices, news releases ... when combined with UNISON's national website, this gives you everything you could possibly need to to know about UNISON's activities.  If you find a link doesn't work, please report it here.

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December 2012

UNISON and GWAS information National news and other information


November 2012

UNISON and GWAS information National news and other information
28th - Has your property been affected by the recent flooding? Read our guide about your legal rights

27th - Health Circular: UNISON calls on employers to support AfC
26th - Great Western Ambulance Service merger to go ahead early next year
25th - Report from the national Health Group Executive meeting

23rd - Ambulance control staff are relocated

21st - Poster for 1st December "We are One" demo in Bristol against the South West pay cartel - employers aiming to slash Agenda for Change

21st - Details of tonight's 38 Degrees get together in Bath
21st - Increase in attacks on ambulance staff in Swindon
20th - Letter regarding OOH to members in Gloucestershire from UNISON Vice Chairman Shane Clark 
20th - Draft regarding OOH letter for members to use to send to councillors and MPs in Gloucestershire 
18th - Email from regional rep Mark Wareham regarding Agenda for Change and pay cartel
17th - Health circular: UNISON seeks confirmation that terms and pension rights will be protected on transfer

14th - Great crews at Great Western Ambulance
9th - Glastonbury patient launched into a frenzy inside ambulance 
8th - Letter from Ken Wenman to UNISON regarding technician banding
8th - Agenda - Joint Great Western & SWAST branch seminar, Croyde Bay
7th - Agenda - Branch meeting, Croyde Bay

14th - EEAST ambulance resources being stretched to breaking point, says UNISON

11th - Cyclist's death is a 'huge loss' to union's cause

11th - Eric Pickles announces plans to limit public sector trade unions


October 2012

UNISON and GWAS information National news and other information
30th- Cardiac patients to benefit from £25000 donation to Great Western Ambulance
29th - Ambulance handover waits costing up to £1m
29th - Gloucestershire hospitals struggling to cope with emergency admissions
27th - Hospital hit with £100000 delay bill
26th - Hospital's £100k bill for ambulance delays
26th - GWAS all set for relocation to Bristol
24th - MP's anger at Wiltshire ambulance centre closure 
24th - Wiltshire MP speaks out against relocation of the county's emergency centre
23rd- 33 emergency staff to move to Bristol centre
23rd - Bristol ambulance station to be sold off 
22nd - Unison issues warning over NHS industrial action
22nd - Service will be swallowed in merger
20th - Wiltshire ambulance dispatch centre to close - The closure will "in no way" affect its service, bosses have said.
17th - Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) Elections: 15 November 2012
17th - The March for a Future That Works will be this Saturday 20 October. Join the hundreds of thousands marching to protest the big spending cuts and austerity measures, and to tell the government we need a healthy, growing economy. Get further information to make your plans here:
17th - SWASFT Ambulance staff honoured for their dedication
13th - 'Profit before care' fear over ambulance change
12th - Unions 'concerned'
11th - Branch meeting agenda
11th - Trust confident it can find £2m
6th - Unison makes its feelings known 
27th - Rise in public sector worker attacks blamed on spending cuts and stretched staff

27th - Equal-pay ruling for UNISON ex-council workers
25th - UNISON criticises G4S police outsourcing plan
25th - PCS Union picks on our best friend, Aidan Burley, makes him cry

20th - Trade unions march against cuts

19th - Unions attack cost of NHS reforms - UNISON accused ministers of wasting money after the health secretary admitted that implementing the Health and Social Care Act is now expected to cost the taxpayer between £1.5bn and £1.6bn. 


14th - EEAST ambulance resources being stretched to breaking point, says UNISON

11th - Cyclist's death is a 'huge loss' to union's cause

11th - Eric Pickles announces plans to limit public sector trade unions


September 2012

UNISON and GWAS information National news and other information
24th - "Green is good for growth" - TUC’s one day conference on 23rd October 2012

19th - Thompsons Health and Safety magazine

29th - Union concerns over private firms working in the NHS 


August 2012

UNISON and GWAS information National news and other information
30th - Old training college to be sold off to fund new ambulance centre
29th - New Chippenham ambulance station planned 
23rd - Unison slams NHS 'pay cartel' plans to slash wages
22nd - NHS South West pay plans condemned by union


July 2012

UNISON and GWAS information National news and other information
1st - Warminster OAP waited '45 minutes' for ambulance after fall  


June 2012

UNISON and GWAS information National news and other information
30th - We'll take you to hospital . . . right after our lunch - This appalling story, originally from the NHS-hating Daily Mail, made our blood boil!
30th - 999's 75th Anniversary - Includes interview with GWAS's own Mel Glanville
27th - Health & Social Care Act 2012: Making Sense of the New NHS - useful document from UNISON
27th - Health trusts face 'serious financial difficulties' - The first of two dangerously inaccurate stories this month from the Weston Daily Press
24th - Go forth! - UNISON LAS blog
21st - Conference report - Thursday 
20th - Conference report - Wednesday
20th - Hospital handover concerns
19th - Conference report - Tuesday
18th - No objections from CCP to merger
18th - Latest figures highlight delays in ambulance response times in rural areas
15th - Agenda for Great Western Ambulance Joint Health Scrutiny Committee 
1st - Media statement - GWAS and NHS Direct lose 111/out of hours service
21st - EU rules on annual leave
21st - Bid withdrawn for NHS non-emergency line
19th - UNISON to 'smash the pay freeze'
15th - New NHS helpline put on hold


May 2012

UNISON and GWAS information National news and other information
30th - Emergency Service Show hands over cash to Wiltshire good causes - Well done to all involved.  Can't wait until next year!
29th - SWASFT CE brief - pay cartel
28th - The full text of resolutions carried at the Annual Health Group Conference is now available on the UNISON website at
28th - Your pay - your voice - Please complete this survey
28th - National pensions update
28th - Technician banding - letter to Ken Wenman
27th - Newsbrief - branch newsletter from Jo Fowles
16th - Branch meeting - agenda
9th - Brave Amy honoured by Ambulance Service
4th - Anger as private ambulance service closes its doors
3rd - Man refused help 999 crew offered
1st - UNISON South West Personal Injury Legal Services Newsletter
23rd - Stop female genital mutilation in the UK
14th - Unions attack regional pay plans


April 2012

UNISON and GWAS information National news and other information
18th - Medics at a loss to sudden surge in illness
18th - Proposed merger of GWAS & SWAST - Cooperation & Competition Panel
16th - South Western Ambulance Service fears it will not win NHS 111 
16th - Franchise option was considered for GWAS
11th - PTS rest breaks - joint statement
11th - GWAS PTS subsistence guidance (trust document)
11th - PTS subsistence policy 2007 (trust document)
10th - Pensions proposals - important guide
3rd - Tracking the NHS health and social care bill - UNISON timetable
3rd - UNISON wants to hear from members working in operational services - ancillary, maintenance, administrative and clerical staff - in its new survey
2nd - Round the clock news as station covers life of city - the station worked closely with GWAS
1st - Release Time for Recognised Union Staff Representatives to be introduced
23rd - Union boss warns over NHS pay plans
23rd - Lansley faces union battle over NHS regional pay
17th - Pensions - health workers have their say
16th - NHS redundancy costs force rethink
2nd - Meet 'Tiny', the 6ft 8ins paramedic who used his giant frame as a human ladder


March 2012

UNISON and GWAS information National news and other information
29th - Branch meeting - agenda - minutes
29th - SWAST ambulance targets missed after big surge in 999 calls
27th - Admin matters - for distribution to admin and clerical members, the latest issue includes articles on the NHS Business Services Authority and the battle to protect Agenda for Change.
27th - Consultation launched on response to pay policy
27th - Our NHS Our Future - UNISON Health Care Service Group Executive Annual Report 2011/2012
27th - The government forced through its plans to break up the NHS and sell parts of it off to profiteers, but UNISON has pledged that the fight is far from over.  Keep checking the Our NHS Our Future web site for the latest updates on what the passing of the Bill means.
26th - We can't hit our targets without more funding, says GWAS
23rd - URGENT branch circular - NHS Direct
21st - Gloucestershire rescue groups take part in flood test
20th - Health Conference 2012 agenda
20th - NHS unions jointly condemn “market facing pay” - evidence submitted about economic impact of regional pay (of the type suggested by SWAST in Autumn 2011)
18th - Branch newsletter
18th - AGM branch role application
16th - Take action- Email a Peer today
16th - Kind-hearted students lead campaign to thank paramedics - A group of students have launched a campaign to encourage people to thank paramedics for their invaluable life-saving work
16th - Competitors raise cash for Wiltshire Air Ambulance
16th - Pewsey boy's uncle's proud moment
16th - Laser attack on helicopter: pair avoid jail terms
14th - Headline of the month - Pet hamster rescued from house fire
13th - E-petition - Have you asked your members to sign the e- petition asking the Government to drop the Health Bill?
13th - Adopt a Peer - The Bill has its third and final reading in the House of Lords on Monday 19 March and this is this is the last realistic chance for politicians to block the Bill from becoming law
12th - Use Going To Work's "Adopt a Peer" tool to easily write to or email a Peer. They aren't as used to individual lobbying as MPs, so receiving personal contacts from members of the public will really get their attention.
12th - Retired ambulanceman slams GWAS for 'wasting' cash on renting 
12th - Stem 999 spending call
11th - PC David Rathband: Hundreds attend memorial service - PC Rathband's coffin was taken into the cathedral by paramedic Philip Molloy and ambulance technician Stephen Martin, who had treated him after he was shot and blinded in an attack by gunman Raoul Moat
11th - Watchdog marks down 999 service - The Great Western Ambulance Service got three slight raps on its knuckles in a watchdog's review
10th - Serious questions raised over ambulance Code Red response times
10th - Talks with unions on public sector pensions end - UNISON said they would study the final details and consult their members
9th - Fresh strike threat over public sector pension cuts - Christina McAnea, head of health at UNISON said: "It is critical that our members have the final say on these proposals and we will meet with our key health activists before moving to a ballot
9th - Westbury boy says thanks to the Air Ambulance
9th Email your MP now - Ask your MP to attend the Opposition Day debate in the House of Commons to Save our NHS!
9th - UNISON Education Weekend school, Croyde Bay
9th - Communities 'let down' by service, says MP - Will changing "great" to "south" on our ambulance change this situation?
8th - Future of Wiltshire medical rescuers up in the air
8th - UNISON celebrates International Women's day
7th - UNISON Great Western Ambulance Branch AGM notice - poster and form
7th - Latest update on the 2012 Education Programme
7th - Confusion over NHS ambulance contract
6th - Make peers change the Bill on the private patient income cap
6th - Wiltshire paramedics aiding new device study
6th - Ambulance crews praised 
6th - Paramedics at heart of study into treatment 
6th - Great Western Ambulance Service EOC makes it a fourth in a row
6th - Concern over commissioning of county's ambulance service
4th - Patients stuck in ambulances at busy A&E
3rd - Swindon agenda item to update the Committee on the proposed acquisition of Great Western Ambulance
3rd - Depressed man kept calling 999
2nd - Great Western Ambulance Service passes inspection
2nd - GWAS paramedics lead the way in airway research
2nd - Praise for ambulance staff and minor paper work concern detected
2nd - Mixed 999 inspection
2nd - Application for Branch Executive position
2nd - GWAS helps revive research
1st - Union backs Swindon fight 
1st - Universal praise for ambulance service
1st - CQC report in full
1st - GWAS performance falls - There were no areas of “good or improved performance” to note at Great Western Ambulance Service during December
1st - Emergency calls on rise - the average number of calls of the most serious level rose from between 200 to 250 a day to 300
1st - Hygiene concerns at Wiltshire ambulance station
1st - Staff appraisal concern at ambulance service
30th - Virgin Care to run Surrey community health services - UNISON said it had concerns over the privatisation of the NHS and fears of profit over care.
29th - London ambulances on second try with CommandPoint 999 software
27th - No let-up expected in NHS savings drive
27th - Health chief fears burden of reforms 
22nd - NHS staff level cut by 20,000 in a year
21st - Budget 2012: Unions Lash Out
21st - Budget 2012 reaction: Unison declares 'No jobs, no growth, no idea'
17th - Ambulance chief earns more than the prime minister - Anthony Marsh, the chief executive of the West Midlands Ambulance Service NHS Trust, took home up to £190,000 in pay in 2010/11 <
16th - EMAS abulances fail to hit targets for the second time - GWAS's failed A&E Redesign and Process Evolution principles originated in this service
16th - SWAST Ambulances get cash for diagnostic kit
15th - Is a public sector job lost every 2 minutes and 18 seconds in the UK?  - YES!
15th - Health workers protest against NHS shake-up
15th - Man spat into paramedic's mouth - James Hutt, aged 23, of Rowland Close, Fearnhead, spat twice at the paramedic
15th - NHS reforms: the helicopter medic's view
15th - Man jailed for paramedic attack - Keith Bidwell, 44, of no fixed abode, was sentenced to 24 weeks' imprisonment
15th - Solidarity with UNISON members striking tomorrow 
15th - UNISON strike campaign begins against NHS pension cuts
15th - NHS reforms: the paramedic's view
14th - Another two years lost to ambulance delays at Welsh hospitals 
13th - Anger as public pay freeze extended
12th - Government faces union opposition for 'steamrolling' NHS pension offer  - The prospect of a 68-year-old paramedic lifting patients will become a reality with the increased risk to patients
11th - NEAS ambulance cuts decision on hold 
9th - Ambulance station raided
9th - Ambulance crews awarded for bravery
8th - Union which defeated outsourcing tells its story
8th - Runner up best headline of the month - Kate Moss's massive face puts four people in hospital
7th - NHS: Axe Lansley's bill!
7th - Rally warns of Bill 'threat to NHS'
6th - Ambulance chiefs warn pranksters they could face jail for 999 abuse
6th - Ambulance medic bruised in attack
5th - Unions plan NHS demo at Parliament
5th - Thousands of public sector jobs are axed
3rd - Private ambulances used for Leeds emergency calls 
3rd - Private ambulance firm responds to 999 calls 
2nd - Shame aboard the booze bus
2nd - Lansley sees attacks on bill as partisan
1st - Drunk man spat at paramedic
1st - Drunken hoaxer repeatedly rang 999 for ambulance
1st - powerful advert - chip in to take it to the streets


February 2012

UNISON and GWAS information National news and other information
29th - Deliver a knockout blow to the Health Bill on March 7 - includes things you can all do online!
29th - NHS Pension Scheme Contribution rates - UNISON circular
29th - A new survey asks health and social care staff about their expectations and experiences of working with trans service users
29th - Delegate registration documents for regional council meeting - 19 May 2012
29th - Member count Feb 2012
28th - Ambulances are queuing at Bristol's A&E departments
26th - Ambulance merger expected by October
25th - Notes from joint SWAST and GWAS branch seminar
25th - Agenda - Joint SWAST and GWAS branch seminar
25th - Union threat over council salary cut 
24th - Can you email your MP now and ask if they voted against the release of the NHS Bill risk assessment?  If they are a liberal or conservative MP, they probably did.  Tell them you're not happy about it!  It is how democracy works.  This website will help you do it. 
24th - Work Programme - Great Western Ambulance Joint Health Scrutiny Committee
23rd - Cardiac arrest treatment study exceeds paramedic recruitment targets 
21st - COMPETITION!  - To celebrate Fairtrade Fortnight 
21st - Paramedics sign up to help research project 
20th - This Wednesday, there's a crunch NHS vote in Parliament. MPs will vote on whether to demand the publication of a secret government report into the risks facing the NHS. That could be another nail in the coffin of Andrew Lansley's plans - so let's pile the pressure on our MPs to vote the right way.
20th - Ambulance times in the spotlight 
19th - GWAS Competency Mapping Levels of Medical Support
18th - A working life: the union official 
17th - Five things you need to know about the deficit
17th - Five things you need to know about the NHS Bill - please read
17th - Pensions update
16th - Course details - please have a look if you are interested in taking a UNISON course or becoming a steward
15th - Health Minster: Improvements have been made
15th - UNISON's latest Save Our NHS campaigning activities
14th - Union in 'broken heart' NHS protest 
14th - Proposed merger of Great Western Ambulance Service
13th - TUC survey on on trade unions, greening the workplace and climate change:
12th - Only 1 in 4 people back NHS reforms
10th - Ask your MP to support the motion that the risk register should be published, especially if your MP is a Lib Dem: Email your MP now
9th - Branch meeting - agenda
7th - Management side of the NHS Staff Council wants to change the Agenda for Change NHS Terms and Conditions of Service Handbook. UNISON sets out how it plans to seek members' views on the proposals
7th - The Health and Social Care Bill is still making its way through parliament and is back in the Lords from 8 February to 13 March before it returns to the Commons for MPs to debate again. Here's what to do!
7th - New guidance issued on NHS people transition
7th - KSF - Guidance for HR staff and those who give appraisals
7th - Survey for science, therapy & technical members 
7th - The 2012 UNISON Young Members Weekend (for those <27 years old)  will be held in Leeds between the 11 and 13 of May
5th - MP raises concern over ambulance response times
3rd - GWAS ambulance boss gets £121k handshake
2nd - 'Copter contract vow in Wiltshire 
1st - Problems ahead for Wiltshire Police/Ambulance joint operation
1st - UNISON course dates for interested members
29th - Fund for children's air ambulance launched
29th - Axing Unison salaries sends wrong message
29th - Trade unions launch fightback over NHS bill
29th - London Fire chief proposes closing 50 ambulance stations
27th - “Boom , Bust, Fight back” a short history of booms, crises, and public spending and “Worth Defending, ” a short history of the Welfare state
26th - Rupert Murdoch is making his next bold move to dominate our news media -- re-launching his disgraced Sunday paper under a new name.  The ‘Sun on Sunday’ is struggling to secure advertisers nervous about hacking and bribery allegations. Without them, the paper can’t survive. Last July, a massive consumer backlash caused advertisers to desert the News of the World in droves, forcing it to close -- and our pressure can ensure they reject its replacement.  Mobile providers O2, Vodaphone and Everything Everywhere are still considering advertising in the paper -- even though nearly 200 of their customers were victims of Murdoch’s phone hacking. Let’s tell these companies what’s at stake -- click here to send them a clear message and force them to back out of their hacking support.
25th - East Midlands Ambulance Service fails in contract appeal bid 
24th - Anger at council workers' pay freeze 
24th - EMAS branded worst in country - the only trust to miss out on both targets
23rd - Vandal attacks air ambulance 
23rd - Hey council, leave those Bentleys alone, says Keynsham MP Jacob Rees Mogg - This GWAS MP was asked to vote to support the NHS.  But instead he wastes parliamentary time by demonstrating how out of touch he is.
22nd - Unison: Council salaries at 1990s levels
22nd - Sat-nav blamed for boy's death 
21st - London Ambulance misses 999 calls after IT failure
15th - The coalition is prescribing bad policy and worse politics 
7th - Ambulance service handed £2m 'head start' funding for 111 bid 
6th - Bury Council reaches equal pay settlement with female employees
5th - Uncertain future for ambulance workers - East Midlands Ambulance Service (EMAS) lost the tender to run non-emergency ambulance services to Arriva.
4th - Items stolen from YAS ambulances total £75k 
3rd - Jennifer Lane is an MSc student at the University of the West of England studying Research Methods in Psychology and conducting a survey on work engagement and burnout.  Take part!
2nd - North-East Ambulance Service to reclassify vehicles - HDU anyone?
1st - Private firm starts running NHS Hinchingbrooke Hospital
1st - Jail for man who struck paramedic
1st - Idea for combined fire and ambulance service mooted


January 2012

UNISON and GWAS information National news and other information
31st - Pensions update
31st - Get ready for Save Our NHS rally on 7 March
31st - Gloucestershire paramedics warned over eight hot properties
31st - College of Paramedics study evening poster
27th - NHS Direct: Advice on refusal to sign new contracts
12th - Branch meeting agenda
12th - Hospital bosses considering extending helipad in Gloucester
12th - Ambulance response times to be investigated 
10th - Merged hospitals fail to bring gains, says study - University of Bristol and Imperial College analysed more than 110 mergers that took place between 1997 and 2006, and discovered that financial deficits increased, despite the fact that many had been justified on the grounds that they would improve financial performance.  What does this mean for the acquisition of GWAS by SWAST?
10th - Branch newsletter
5th - Britain's biggest union tells Government, "don't attack our pensions"
5th - UNISON pension adverts investigated by the Advertising Standards Authority - after three advertisements it placed in the national press were described as "misleading" and "inaccurate" ... by a Tory MP!
5th - Plea after lifesaving medical gear is stolen
5th - TUC training courses (City of Bristol college)
5th - Calls [from Tory councillor] for ambulance service to be disbanded
4th - Paramedic's vital life-saving equipment stolen during Somerset burglary
4th - Get active weekend, Taunton
3rd - The latest 2012 education course details are now available
3rd - We're all in this together
2nd - A bit messy but no big trouble on big night
31st - Man in court for paramedic assault
10th - Siberian paramedics armed with stun guns
10th - Bee Gees' Stayin' Alive refrain is saving lives
10th - The terms and working conditions of ambulance staff are unreasonable 
9th - South East Coast Ambulance destroyed by fire
7th - Public sector pensions dispute at 'pivotal moment'
7th - Analysis: 'It's about having properly managed rest periods'
7th - Private sector ambulance deal - EMAS has lost out on a £20m contract to provide non-emergency patient transport in favour of private sector companies.
7th - Wheel falls off ambulance taking 81-year-old patient from Bolton to hospital
7th - Pensioner's two-hour wait for EMAS ambulance prompts apology
7th - "Ambulance Crews: The Enemy Within" - Aggressive article as staff try to make public realise that safety comes first.
6th - Clubbers calling 999 'to use ambulances as taxis'
6th - Bizarre 999 calls slammed as ambulances are called to injured rabbit and man who glued five plastic cups to his head
6th - George Halliday jailed for 'children's ambulance' theft
5th - Ambulance service shows film of hoaxes after 999 misuse
5th - Too many nonsense 999 calls
2nd - Police chase after ambulance stolen