H&F Hospital Staff to Join Four Hour Strike on Monday

Police and soldiers drafted in to drive ambulances from 7am

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Staff from local hospitals, Charing Cross in Hammersmith, Hammersmith Hospital in Shepherd's Bush and Chelsea Westminster on Fulham Road are joining hospitals across the country in a four hour strike over pay on Monday November 24 from 7am till 11am.

The strike is the second to be called by unions UNISON, UNITE, GMB and the Royal College of Midwives. The Society of Radiographers has also called for a four hour strike on 24 November from 08.00 to 12.00.

Nurses, ambulance paramedics, therapists, cooks, cleaners, healthcare assistants and admin staff will be amongst the NHS strike on Monday morning.

UNISON says it wants the NHS to be properly funded so that it can have enough staff who are well motivated and fairly paid. Our campaign is for:

  • immediate payment of the 1% consolidated sum to everyone, as recommended by the NHS Pay Review Body;
  • the living wage of £7.65 an hour for low paid staf;
  • an above inflation pay rise for 2015-16;
  • a commitment to future pay rises that will restore the value of NHS pay.

UNISON head of health Christina McAnea, who chairs the NHS staff side unions Ca, says: "For many in the NHS, last month's strike was a first.

"Next week's industrial action will be bigger as more unions will be joining it. Jeremy Hunt needs to listen to NHS workers who feel this government is treating them with contempt.

"NHS workers are overworked and underpaid. Most patients would be shocked to know that one in five of the NHS workers who care for them need to do a second job just to survive and many have to borrow money every month to make ends meet or resort to foodbanks."

Police officers and the military have been drafted in to help with 120 soldiers and 150 police officers driving ambulances on Monday.

However, London Ambulance Service's Director of Operations Jason Killens warns: “Only people in a life threatening emergency will get an ambulance response between 7am and 11am on Monday.

“People with injuries such as minor broken bones, women in routine labour, some patients with breathing difficulties or those involved in minor road traffic accidents will be given clinical advice, provided with alternative transport or told to make their own way to hospital."

He adds: "We have again agreed ‘life and limb’ cover with our unions – which means staff will come off the picket line to respond to our most seriously ill and injured patients."

Chelsea and Westminster has issued a response to the planned strike, saying: " On Monday 24 November some staff, including midwives, radiographers and staff in theatres, may plan to take part in a national strike from 7am-12pm.

" Essential, emergency services will not be reduced or compromised. The safety of our patients is of the highest priority.  

" To make sure that we have the right staff in place to diagnose and treat emergency patients, some non-urgent appointments in these areas may need to be rescheduled.

" Each patient with a rescheduled appointment will have been personally written to in order to explain the situation, apologise for any inconvenience caused by this national action and how they can re-book, which we will treat as a priority. 

" Urgent maternity appointments will remain available—if you are concerned about your pregnancy that morning, please do not hesitate to call 020 3315 6000.

" The Trust will continue to monitor the situation carefully both before and during the period when national strike action is scheduled to take place to make sure emergency services run as normal. 

" We hope that patients inconvenienced by this strike appreciate that our focus that morning will need to be on providing excellent emergency services."

Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust, who includes Hammersmith and Charing Cross Hospitals, says it is maintaining its normal activity during the industrial action to ensure no cancellation of elective treatment for patients. Patients should attend their appointments as normal.

The Trust says it is working in partnership with local trade unions to ensure that critical, emergency and in-patient services are not affected.


November 21, 2014