Skip to content

GMB Statement – HCA Band 2 members – 27th March

For attention of GMB Union HCA Band 2 members.



Updated 27th March 2024

The GMB Union (GMB), and the Joint Trade Unions (JTUs) at Derriford Hospital are not in agreement with the content of the letter you have received from University Hospitals Plymouth NHS Trust (UHPT) on Tuesday 26th March 2024. JTUs also oppose the imposition of the uplift. Joint Trade Unions remain in formal dispute with UHPT regarding the length of back pay. We also consider it fair that all those HCAs who qualify with length of service are uplifted to the top of Band 3. (Spine point 3).

Copy of UHPT Letter

GMB and the JTUs have made it clear to UHPT that we would expect that any communication with you which relates to pay, terms and conditions, must include all necessary financial data. This meaning the inclusion of electronic links to the NHS Employers guidance (issued over 30 months ago in August 2021). Information regarding Band 2 scoping exercise (completed over 18 months ago in September 2022 and which is now out of date). Information of any possible detrimental financial implications. This letter clearly does not give you that necessary detail.

You are strongly advised to seek advice from your Trade Union before responding to the letter or agreeing to any changes to your Job Description or Terms and Conditions

For some HCA Band 2 members, imposing this re-evaluation may have a significant financial impact. UHPT have asked you to make a very important decision without giving you adequate, up to date information.

GMB in partnership with JTUs submitted a formal dispute to UHP in October 2023. (6 months ago) however, despite our continued efforts, the formal grievance has failed to achieve any acceptable solution and as a result, the grievance has now progressed to the formal appeal stage. Whilst awaiting a hearing date for that appeal the we feel that UHPT should follow its own policy, section* By imposition, UHPT would be choosing to ignore this section of their own policy. This appeal will be heard by non-exec. members of the Trust Board.

*In line with the Grievance policy, Joint Staff Side Trade Unions lodged a dispute in October 2023 and we continue to wait for a date for appeal hearing.

The University of Plymouth NHS Trust’s Grievance and Dispute Policy, section 5.6 which states,

“The previous working and management arrangements (status quo) shall continue to operate until it is resolved or until the procedure has been exhausted unless operational practicalities prevail.

This is relevant to the live dispute which GMB Union and other Joint Trade Unions have lodged against UHPT. This simply means that there should be no change to the current situation until the appeal process is concluded.

The GMB & JTUs believe that you have not been given enough information to make an informed decision and we have asked that, in line with the agreed UHPT Grievance policy, the status quo continue until there is a acceptable proposal for us to put to you, our HCA members for consultation, including fair formulas for back pay and uplift to spine point 3 (top of Band 3).

Furthermore, the UHPT letter to staff states that “the Trust has made several offers over the past few months on backpay, which have not been acceptable to GMB or JTUs.

We are clear that the current impasse is entirely due to the Trust working outside of their own Grievance policy without any partnership working with any of the recognised Trade Unions.

UHPT were informed in 2019 that this HCA review was in progress and that they should perhaps prepare for the financial and operational impact. Until September 2022, UHPT offered no meaningful consultation. The GMB & Joint Trade Unions made many attempts to commence meaningful consultation and negotiations but over the past three years UHPT have dragged their heels and have not worked in partnership with Trade Unions.

Trade Unions will continue to represent our members best interests and try very hard to ensure that you are respected, paid, and rewarded for the vital work that you have always done and continue to do in your NHS Health Care Support Worker roles (HCSW).

Advice and Options you should note and consider.

Backpay is basic pay arrears and would calculate unpaid basic rates of pay, unpaid enhanced payments based on the appropriate rate at the time, NHS pension contributions (if applicable).

Note that all Gross pay is taxable at the rates applicable to the employee.

Note that back pay made as a lump sum may impact means tested social benefits. You should discuss any concerns about this impact with an independent financial advisor and with your social security contact.

Non Consolidated pro rata payment (Lump sum bonus). This payment will be liable for tax applicable to the individual.

GMB Union will be available at Derriford Hospital
Outside Warrens Restaurant on level 7
Thursday 28th March 2024
11am until 3pm
Concerns, questions and advice.

We will advise you of all of the options / actions which are available to you.

We would emphasise that Trade Unions remain in dispute with UHP. (Derriford Hospital).
This is is a Joint Trade Union dispute and all recognised Trade Unions at Derriford Hospital (UHP) have agreed the key demands and we are all in agreement about what our HCA2 members deserve. Joint Trade Unions will continue to fight to get you what our members deserve. At Derriford Hospital this will be achieved jointly.
Be Stronger together!

* When you joined the GMB Union and if you opted out of being contacted by text, SMS or email you will not receive any specific or general communications via electronic means.


If you would like us to send you electronic updates and news? please change your contact preferences, otherwise please continue to monitor this website or contact your GMB Rep.


HCA Band 2 would undertake personal care such as feeding, bathing, toileting, recording fluids balance and nutrition.

HCA Band 3 would undertake Monitoring of heart rate and blood pressure, bloods, wound observations during analysis.

Information Link 1

Information Link 2

There will be very few HCA’s employed by UHP who have not undertaken the Care Certificate or additional clinical observations/skills training over the past four years. This should be evidenced either digitally on ESR or as a paper copy in their personal file held by their department/ward manager.

  • These are not just blood pressure, pulse and temperature but must include skills such as venepuncture, visual acuity, neurological observations, blood glucose monitoring, pregnancy testing, routine maternal and neonatal observations, observing patients for signs of agitation or distress, wound observations and simple wound dressings, removal of peripheral cannula, urinalysis, removal of catheter.


  • Trade Unions do not believe that within the HCSW workforce at UHP that there will many, if any, that do not undertake some clinical observation and therefore recommend that your previous data is stringently reviewed before sending any communication to HCSW about their position being upgraded to a band 3 or remaining at a band 2. The influx of appeals would be large and may well cause distress and animosity within their teams which in turn may cause patient care to suffer.


  • Guidance was provided to UHPT by NHS Employers in August 2021 – Almost 32 months ago! clarifying the review and the key differences between an HCA Band 2 and the HCA Band 3 job profiles. This guidance lists different initiatives and programmes of work that have impacted on the roles of the HCSW CSW-employer-guidance.pdf (


  • As far as we are aware, UHP did not commence any work streams to comply with this guidance until at least September 2022. – Almost 20 months ago!


  • UHP have indicated that they are not currently prepared to uplift longer serving HCA Band 2 employees to the top of Band 3. There could be over 400 HCA Band 2 employees who have been identified as having over 2 years service as an HCA. GMB feels that those members deserve to be uplifted to the top of Band 3.



  • Trade Unions have demanded consolidated back pay from 2019 – current date – to include enhancements hours, corrected overtime payments and NHS Pension contributions (if applicable).


  • Revised Job Descriptions for the HCA B2 and B3 were eventually completed in January 2024. (30 months after the NHS Employers guidance was issued).
  • Note that changes to your Job Descriptions are made by agreement with the employee.

To ensure that you receive regular updates, please keep the GMB Union updated with your personal and work details.

* If you opted out of text, SMS, email communication when you joined the GMB Union you will not receive general communication by these electronic means. Please change your preferences if you would like us to send you electronic updates and news. If not, please monitor these website pages for any updates.

If you have any questions please contact;   or 

Other local GMB Reps are contactable in different areas of the hospital and they will be able to give you factual updates on the HCA Band 2 situation at UNIVERSITY HOSPITALS PLYMOUTH NHS TRUST (Derriford). 


Posted: 26th March 2024

X Share