A Message from the Branch Secretary

Welcome to Calderdale & Huddersfield Health UNISON Branch Website. This branch brings together UNISON members from CHFT, LOCALA, Care homes and several voluntary sector organisations. As a Branch we actively campaign for high quality services in the NHS and Voluntary Sector. We feel that good working conditions and environments are the foundations for delivering high quality care. We are currently rebuilding the branch and are actively encouraging new activists to come forward as well as developing our current reps.
We support and recruit UNISON members all across CHFT, LOCALA and the care sector and strive to deliver a first class service to our members.


Hands Off HRI

Tens of thousands of us in Huddersfield, Dewsbury, Brighouse & Halifax - and across the wider region from Todmorden to Holmfirth to Denby Dale - have already signed one or more of the petitions below to show we are firmly in favour of Huddersfield keeping its A&E Unit and to voice our concern over the proposals to dismantle Huddersfield Royal Infirmary.

Why not add your name to our numbers by signing the petitions below?

Find out more and get involved:

WEB: http://handsoffhri.org/
Twitter: #HandsOffHRI

Moments of Truth


Your public services are at breaking point. Hear from the people who provide them – and their personal, and often frank stories of the tremendous pressures they face.

Hear their voices. Share their stories. Take a stand for your public services.

Latest news from the branch

UNISON wins £70,000 pay-out for hospital cleaners (17/03/17)

22 union members in Torquay receive damages after being made sick by hazardous chemical disinfectant

“Thanks to our union and Thompsons we can continue doing our work in a safe environment.”

Those were the words of Torquay hospital UNISON rep Allison Parker, after 22 cleaners – union members – at the hospital were awarded £70,000 damages after falling ill because they were exposed to chemicals.

The cleaners, who all work for Torbay and South Devon NHS Foundation Trust fell ill because of using a chemical disinfectant called Actichlor seven years ago – but were given no training in its use. Anyone using the cleaning substance experienced runny eyes, nose sores and wheezing coughs. To make matters worse, the masks they’d been given were useless and the goggles didn’t fit anyone who wore glasses, said UNISON.

When managers ignored their concerns, the cleaners contacted UNISON, which asked Thompsons Solicitors to investigate.

This investigation found that the Actichlor was being mixed with hot water in small, enclosed rooms, which meant the cleaners were breathing in toxic fumes. A lack of training also meant that staff didn’t know they should have been mixing the disinfectant using cold water and in large, ventilated spaces.

“Staff love their work, but their jobs were making them ill. Some even took ill-health retirement because they were too poorly to carry on,” said Ms Parker.

The case went to court and the cleaners were awarded compensation because the hospital had provided sub-standard equipment and didn’t comply with safety regulations – specifically, the COSHH regulations covering the Control of Substances Hazardous to Health.

“This case shows the value of being in a union,” commented UNISON South West head of health Helen Eccles.

“Employers shouldn’t expect staff to use dangerous substances without proper training or the correct protective gear to keep them safe. “Hopefully, this will be a lesson to other employers not to play fast and loose with the safety of their staff.”

Nicholas Seymour of Thompsons solicitors said the cleaners were made ill “because of a lack of training and of basic health and safety equipment, which is unacceptable”.

He urged “anyone working with Actichlor who is unwell to get in touch with their union”.


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