In his keynote speech to the union's annual health conference, Prentis will warn that the union is gearing up for industrial action to fight damaging job cuts, protect patients and challenge government reforms that are fragmenting the NHS.
Prentis will tell nurses and health workers, 'UNISON cannot stand by and watch staff suffer in this climate of fear. We will be supporting members who feel that they have no option left other than industrial action to protect jobs and services.
'We will not stand by and watch our members made scapegoats for hospital debt. The Department of Health has been disingenuous about why, after so much investment, the NHS is now in financial difficulty. It's as if Trusts have somehow frittered away all they have been given. The truth is so extraordinary it is hardly believable,' he will say.
Dave Prentis is also set to address the UNISON 'Big Event' rally, to highlight the increasing pressure from government to use private sector companies to deliver health services. The rally is expected to attract more than a thousand health workers and supporters at Baltic Square in Gateshead at lunchtime today.