07th March 2016 Written by Simon Newell, regional organiser for Unison

Image: Unison logo.“Unison represents over 450,000 workers in healthcare and the majority of those are in support worker roles. We find that although support staff play a vital role in the delivery of individual patient care training for them is minimal and there is little to identify people in those roles for on-going development.

“The Our Health Heroes campaign film demonstrates what I have always believed, that support staff have a lot of patient contact and have the ability to reassure them while they are in hospital or other clinical settings. As such, it is important that they are given training on how to best to interact with patients and if there are any issues they should be aware of and for personal development, in order to be able to take on other roles or apply for promotion.

“I’m a former healthcare support worker myself. I spent almost 12 years as a porter and in all that time, the only training I was provided with was from Unison. We continue to provide training to support workers in a wide range of ways, from our Return to Learn (R2L) courses which include numeracy and literacy skills training to Autism Awareness, from confidence building and assertiveness to an introduction to sign language and from equality and diversity in the workplace to managing classroom behavior for our schools staff members.  This is in addition to the excellent training we provide for our stewards and branch officers.  I am pleased to have been invited to the launch of this exiting initiative to recognise these heroes, particularly as it links it with our own One Team for Patient Care campaign.  We would be very happy to work with Skills for Health and all NHS employers to improve the opportunities for these vital members of the Healthcare team”.

You can support the campaign by sharing our film with your networks and tagging #OurHealthHeroes, and sharing your personal stories of support workers on Twitter using #OurHealthHeroes.

Find out more about the campaign and how you can get involved here:

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