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Health educators

UCU is the largest trade union recognised by higher education employers with national collective bargaining rights for health educators. UCU represents health professionals/educators working in the higher education sector and undertakes a range of activities to support health educators and promote the valuable work they do, eg:

  • organising national conferences for health educator members
  • carrying out regular member surveys to ensure the union is up to date about health educators' professional and industrial concerns
  • hosting a long established health educators' e-network
  • liaising with other health unions with whom we have joint agreements
  • promoting the interests of our members in our liaison with government (UK and devolved nations), and other public bodies.

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 (.pdf) file type icon 10 Good Reasons for Health Educators to join UCU (.pdf) [36kb]


Join UCU's health educators' discussion list
Joining is easy. UCU members only. Join here.

Information for UCU's health professional members

On this page:


Health educators at UCU Congress

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Urgent protection needed for health education as MPs fear 'raids' on training budgets:

May 2012: UCU called on the government to urgently protect healthcare education

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Adult nurse training to be cut by over 20% in London

  • Union warns that cuts will put patients at risk
  • University of West London to be stripped of adult nurse training contract

Adult nurse training to be cut by over 20% in London

January 2012

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Health academics must not be sidelined

UCU has warned that healthcare training could be put at risk if academics are sidelined. Responding in March 2011 to the Department of Health's Liberating the NHS consultation, UCU said the report had failed to recognise the crucial role academic, clinical and research staff at universities play in developing the healthcare workforce:

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Campaigning for health profession educators

A national conference for health educator members was held in November 2010. Members gathered to examine the new health policy agenda; HE budget cuts; potential impacts on health educators and health education provision; and consider ways to both challenge detrimental policy changes and defend health education in HE. The report of the Health Educators' Summit and speakers' presentation slides can be found here:

At the first event of its kind, in 2008 UCU organised a gathering of health educators to hear a range of guest speakers from the Department of Health; the King's Fund; and sister unions, give a range of perspectives on factors influencing public policy towards the NHS and what they thought were the potential consequences for health profession education. The conference also launched a UCU commissioned report from Professors Basford and Kershaw, A Key Issues Paper: Underpinning the Future of Health Professional Education in the UK.

In their report, Basford and Kershaw highlight the many developments that influence public policy towards the NHS. In addition they have produced a number of discussion points to stimulate debate among UCU members and those involved in the current debates at national level such as the NHS Next Stage Review led by Lord Darzi.

Members agree campaigning themes

Reports from delegate workshops suggested a number of key campaigning messages for UCU, including calls for:

  • expansion of the narrow operations focus of NHS workforce planning mechanisms to include education and training needs
  • direct UCU involvement in health professional education planning mechanisms
  • ring-fencing health education and training budgets
  • highlighting of the vital role of health educators and their need to maintain teaching, research, and clinical credibility.

UCU aims to pursue these campaigning objectives when available opportunities present themselves.

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Join the health educators' email discussion group

To forward your comments and share news, if you are not already, why don't you join UCU's health educators' email discussion list. Joining is easy (for union members). To find out how, click here.

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Unions to meet to discuss funding for health profession education and training

Following from policy agreed at the union's higher education sector conference, we have invited sister unions to work with us on conducting a review of the way that HEIs are currently funded for health profession education. This large stems from our wish to end the boom and bust approach to funding that has frequently resulted in unacceptable job losses among our members.

Please let us know if you are aware of any job losses as a result of budgetary pressures.


Health Joint Liaison Committee

The Health Joint Liaison Committee (JLC) exists to ensure effective liaison between all the unions with members employed in academic roles at higher education institutions and who are party to our joint membership agreements. When possible, the committee does not just act as a forum for discussion but tries to encourage concerted action. The JLC meets three times a year.

For further information contact Jenny Lennox, UCU Bargaining and Negotiations Official: jlennox@ucu.org.uk.

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