Enhancing Dementia Care: Training Opportunities for Clinicians in April

As healthcare professionals, our commitment to patient care extends beyond diagnosis and treatment; it involves a continuous pursuit of knowledge and skills that can enhance the well-being of our patients and their families. Recognizing the unique challenges presented by dementia, including Alzheimer’s disease, we are excited to offer two fully funded online training sessions in April, provided in partnership with Alzheimer Scotland. These sessions are specifically designed to support clinicians in delivering compassionate, effective care to patients with dementia.

Dementia Awareness Session

Date & Time: 18 April, 1pm - 2pm
Course Provider: Alzheimer Scotland
Delivery: Online

This session aims to equip clinicians with a foundational understanding of dementia, covering its various forms, underlying causes, and the impact it has on patients and their families. Alzheimer Scotland's expert facilitators will offer insights into the latest research and best practices in dementia care, providing you with the knowledge to enhance your clinical practice.

Carer's Education for Healthcare Professionals

Date & Time: 25 April, 9.30am - 1.30pm
Course Provider: Alzheimer Scotland
Delivery: Online

While the primary audience for the Carer's Education session is family carers, we believe clinicians can greatly benefit from understanding the perspectives and challenges faced by carers. This knowledge can improve communication, foster empathy, and enable clinicians to provide more holistic care. The session will cover practical caregiving strategies, stress management techniques for carers, and ways to support the daily living needs of individuals with dementia.

Why These Sessions Matter

Dementia care is a multifaceted challenge that requires a comprehensive approach, blending clinical expertise with understanding, empathy, and support for both patients and their families. By participating in these training sessions, clinicians can deepen their understanding of dementia, from diagnosis through the entire care continuum, enhancing their ability to make a positive impact on the lives of those affected by these conditions.

Register Now

To book your place for either (or both) of these sessions, please email Marta at m.chaba@unison.co.uk. Spaces are limited, so early registration is encouraged to ensure your participation.

Dementia poses complex challenges, but through ongoing education and empathy, we can improve the quality of care and life for patients and their families. These training opportunities are an excellent step toward that goal, offering clinicians valuable insights and tools to enhance their practice in dementia care. Join us in our commitment to making a difference in the lives of those affected by dementia.

Ramadan 2024

Embracing Unity and Spirituality: The Essence of Ramadan

As we welcome the holy month of Ramadan, a time of reflection, community, and faith, it is essential to recognize the support and unity that organizations like Unison provide to their members during this significant period. Unison, a beacon for workers' rights and inclusivity, has continually shown its commitment to backing its members, ensuring that those observing Ramadan, particularly from black and minority ethnic backgrounds, feel supported and valued.

Unison's Role in Supporting Ramadan Observance

Unison understands the importance of Ramadan for Muslim members and the need for an inclusive environment that respects religious observances. The union has taken proactive steps to ensure that all members feel supported during this month. Initiatives such as arranging flexible working hours allow those observing Ramadan to maintain their fasting and prayer schedules without compromising their work responsibilities. Moreover, Unison has been instrumental in organizing iftar gatherings, providing a space for members to come together, break their fast, and foster a sense of community and mutual support.

Advocacy and Awareness 

Beyond logistical support, Unison has played a crucial role in raising awareness and understanding of Ramadan among all its members. Through educational programs and workshops, the union promotes a culture of inclusivity and respect, ensuring that everyone understands the significance of this month and how they can support their Muslim colleagues.

Empowering Black Members During Ramadan 

Unison's commitment to diversity and inclusion shines brightly during Ramadan, with a particular focus on empowering black members. The union's efforts to highlight and address the unique challenges faced by black Muslims during Ramadan and throughout the year are commendable. By providing platforms for voices from diverse backgrounds, Unison ensures that the spirit of Ramadan is shared with all, fostering a workplace environment where everyone feels respected and valued.

We have a great please in having with us as a UNISON Steward and Black Member.

Araf Saddiq QAM, Paramedic

Araf has contributed an informative piece about Ramadan, offering insightful advice on how to handle patients who are fasting during Ramadan in the event of a medical emergency. It's a highly recommended read. Read it here.

2024: The Year of LGBT+ Celebration with UNISON and the Scottish Ambulance Branch

In an inspiring move that marks a significant milestone in the journey towards inclusivity and equality, UNISON has declared 2024 as the Year of LGBT+. This declaration is not just a statement; it is a testament to the unwavering commitment of UNISON to champion the rights, recognition, and respect of LGBT+ individuals across all sectors. Among the numerous branches and sectors taking a stand for this cause, the Scottish Ambulance Branch stands out as a beacon of progress and inclusivity.

UNISON's Commitment to LGBT+ Rights

UNISON, the UK's largest public service union, has long been at the forefront of advocating for equality and rights for all its members, including those from the LGBT+ community. By dedicating 2024 as the Year of LGBT+, UNISON is reinforcing its commitment to creating workplaces and communities that are safe, welcoming, and inclusive for everyone, regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity.

This year-long celebration includes a series of initiatives, events, and campaigns designed to educate, raise awareness, and foster an environment of inclusivity. Through workshops, seminars, and collaboration with LGBT+ organizations, UNISON aims to address key issues facing the community, such as discrimination, health disparities, and the need for greater representation in all levels of decision-making.

The Scottish Ambulance Branch: Leading by Example

The Scottish Ambulance Branch, an integral part of UNISON, is setting a remarkable example of how inclusivity can be seamlessly integrated into the fabric of public services. Recognizing the unique challenges and healthcare needs of LGBT+ individuals, the branch has implemented comprehensive training for its staff. This training ensures that all employees are equipped with the knowledge and sensitivity required to provide care that is not only professional but also empathetic and respectful of each patient's identity.

Furthermore, the Scottish Ambulance Branch has established a supportive network for its LGBT+ employees, offering a platform for sharing experiences, addressing concerns, and fostering a sense of belonging and community. This initiative reflects the branch's holistic approach to inclusivity, focusing on both the service it provides and the well-being of its workforce.

A Year of Celebration and Beyond

The declaration of 2024 as the Year of LGBT+ by UNISON, with the active participation of the Scottish Ambulance Branch, is a call to action for other organizations and the wider community. It is an invitation to join hands in celebrating diversity, promoting equality, and building a society where everyone, regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity, is valued and respected.

As we move through the year, let us all be inspired by the efforts of UNISON and the Scottish Ambulance Branch. Let us participate in the events, educate ourselves and others, and contribute to making our workplaces, communities, and society more inclusive. The Year of LGBT+ is not just a milestone; it is a step towards a future where equality and love triumph over discrimination and prejudice.

In conclusion, 2024 promises to be a year of significant progress, celebration, and hope. As UNISON leads the way with its dedicated Year of LGBT+, supported by the exemplary efforts of the Scottish Ambulance Branch, we are reminded of the power of unity and the importance of inclusivity. Together, we can create a world where everyone is free to be themselves, celebrated for their uniqueness, and supported in their rights to equality and respect.


Technician to Paramedic route

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Latest Update on the Technician to Paramedic Transition Pathway

Comprehensive Progress Report

We're excited to bring you the latest developments on the Technician to Paramedic Transition Pathway. Since our last discussion from August through November, there have been significant strides forward in this initiative. We've reached a pivotal stage where we can share these updates with you.

Background Insights

The Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) plays a pivotal role in regulating health and care professions within the UK, focusing on setting standards for professional education, training, and practice. For paramedics, meeting these standards involves completing a program of study approved by the HCPC. Notably, from September 2021, the HCPC introduced a new education threshold for paramedics, requiring a Bachelor's degree with honors or its equivalent.

Responding to this change, the Scottish Paramedic Integrated National Education (SPiNE) initiative commenced in 2018, led by the Scottish Ambulance Service (SAS) and NHS Education for Scotland (NES). This program aimed to facilitate the transition to the new degree requirements, including securing necessary funding. A procurement event in January 2019 resulted in contracts with five universities, taking into account the geography of health boards. This transition marked the end of the SAS and Glasgow Caledonian University's previous Diploma in Paramedic Practice collaboration.

Progress and Engagement

To adapt to these changes, SAS, in partnership with NES, is exploring pathways to re-establish an earn-and-learn route for technicians aspiring to become paramedics. The first phase of this exploration involved extensive engagement with a wide range of stakeholders to understand the complexities, challenges, and possible solutions within this landscape.

Future Directions

Our journey continues with strategic engagement, including discussions with the Chief Nursing Officers Directorate at the Scottish Government. The next steps involve developing a comprehensive Business Case by the end of March, encompassing detailed workforce analysis, cost estimates, and policy considerations. This phase will also evaluate the potential impacts on the BSc paramedic program, current practice placements, professional development, and resource allocation, alongside a thorough risk and equality impact assessment.

Collaborative Efforts

A strategic board meeting in early December showcased a unified commitment to advancing this initiative, despite the financial constraints and broader challenges in healthcare recruitment and retention. This bulletin serves to keep all staff informed about the ongoing efforts and the collective dedication to progress in the best interests of our workforce.

Stay Informed and Engaged

Look out for an upcoming survey related to this project. Your participation is crucial. For more details or to contribute further to this conversation, please contact Patricia Gallagher at patriciaanne.gallagher@nhs.scot, who is leading this significant work.

Our Commitment

Our dedication to enhancing the professional development pathways for our staff remains unwavering. We are committed to keeping you updated on these efforts and invite your active involvement in shaping the future of healthcare education and practice.

Further Information

Link to Staff Engagement Session 01/06/23 Technician to Paramedic Progression

Link to Staff Engagement Session - 20-10-22 - Technician to Paramedic

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All members are invited to attend the UNISON Scottish Ambulance Service Branch AGM which will be held at 10:00 am for 10:30 am on Friday 16 February 2024 at UNISON House, 14 West Campbell Street, Glasgow, G2 6RX

Due to the importance of this meeting we would urge all members of the Branch to make every effort to attend. Looking forward to meeting old and new faces on the day.