Branch and UNISON Scotland Press Releases

19 November 2019





Dawn Macdonald, UNISON Convenor for Argyll & Bute in NHS Highland today said “UNISON is today formally launching a petition to save Knapdale Ward and dementia services in Argyll & Bute. Knapdale Ward is  a Dementia Assessment Ward at the Mid Argyll Community Hospital & Integrated Care Centre in Lochgilphead. It has been closed to new admissions for months. UNISON is launching this petition to prevent the full closure of Knapdale Ward and to call for its reopening to new admissions. There are currently ongoing proposals regarding the future of our dementia services within Argyll & Bute, UNISON is standing up for these crucial services and believes given Argyll & Bute’s aging population we need to see an expansion not retraction of dementia services. We believe there are ways ward and community services can be enhanced to provide a better service to patients and their families. Reopening the ward to new admissions must be the starting point for this.” 


Dawn continued “We are only today widely publicising the petition. Yet already with very limited publicity the petition has gathered over 1,400 signatures. This is fantastic and shows the huge support there is for Knapdale ward and well resourced fit for purpose dementia services in Argyll & Bute. NHS Highland and Argyll & Bute Health & Social Care Partnership must listen to this level of concern and move swiftly to reopen Knapdale to new admissions.”


The petition is at




Dawn MacDonald can be contacted on 07584 503799

Simon Macfarlane, UNISON Regional Organiser 07703 194132


Simon Macfarlane

Regional Organiser



17 January 2019




The contract for TV/internet services for patients at Raigmore is coming to an end in June 2019.  UNISON is calling on NHS Highland to ditch these unfair and excessive charges, and find a way to provide the service either free or at the very least at a much reduced cost.


Janette McQuiston, UNISON Branch Secretary said:  “This contract coming to an end provides a major opportunity to do away with the excessive charges – as high as £9.90 a day – for TV and internet services.


Patients may well be unable to afford these charges, and we say that the service should be provided free of charge to patients, or at the very least, much cheaper. 


We are also asking NHS Highland to explore providing free Wi-Fi access for patients and visitors to the hospital.


Our members are telling us that these charges often provoke comment and difficulties for patients.


We know that the income for this does not go to NHS Highland, but we are calling for an end to this private profit-making at the expense of often vulnerable and elderly NHS patients.”


Janette explained “We have written to the Board Chair David Alston on this, and expect that we can work together to find a solution to this issue.  You can also show your support by signing our petition, which is available at:





19 November 2018


Allegations of bullying in nhs highland


This morning UNISON along with other health unions met with the Scottish Government to discuss the allegations of bullying within NHS Highland.  It was a positive meeting and agreement was reached that an independent  review be established.

UNISON also welcomes the fact that a need for additional independent HR support for NHSH was agreed, which will provide additional capacity to investigate new cases of alleged bullying which have been identified.

We were also clear at the meeting that UNISON and other unions need to be involved in terms of our ability to present information to the independent review.

We are also pleased at the fact that it was agreed that the review would proceed "at pace but without haste", in the words of Shirley Rogers from the Scottish Government, and expected to start before Christmas.  UNISON looks forward to being involved in the review going forward.



10 July 2018



About 50 people enjoyed a family fun-day run by UNISON to celebrate 70 years of the NHS.  The party took place at County Community Hospital in Invergordon on Saturday afternoon – despite a certain football match taking place at the same time!


Families enjoyed the lovely weather, and made the best of the attractions on offer, which included a magician, face-painting, and the bouncy castles.


UNISON’s Vice Chair, Anne Campbell, who organised the event said “It was a great way to mark the NHS 70th birthday.  It was a sunny day full of fun, and the free ice cream went down particularly well.”


(For more pics see "Gallery")

4 July 2018


Help UNISON celebrate the NHS’s 70th birthday


Our NHS is 70 years old this month and to celebrate UNISON Highland Healthcare Branch have organised a family fun session in the grounds of County Community Hospital Invergordon.   This is free for the children, grandchildren, nieces and nephews of UNISON members.


Branch Secretary, Janette McQuiston, said “We think it’s really important to celebrate the 70th birthday of this vital public service, which has been a part of all our lives for a long time now, but is very much still alive and kicking!  We wanted to celebrate and mark this important anniversary in a fun way.  There are UNISON NHS 70th birthday cakes being shared with staff in a number of different wards and hospitals in the NHS Highland area, but we also wanted a focussed event for members and their families.  Good weather is guaranteed!”


The fun starts at 2.00 pm until 4.00 pm on Saturday 7 July and we have a great afternoon planned, which will include:


Bouncy castles

Children’s magician

Face painting

Party food

Soft drinks for adults

Birthday cake


Tickets are available from Anne.campbell8@nhs.net  or 07818 002374.


Keep your ticket to swap for a free ice cream from the Alness ice cream van.


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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Anne Campbell, UNISON Highland Healthcare Vice Chair. Telephone 07818 002374



UNISON Highland Healthcare, 53 Shore Street, Inverness, IV1 1NF

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