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Posted on 28th March 2017

Hospital scientists strike over patient safety concerns

Scientists were on strike last week in a dispute with hospital bosses over ‘unsafe’ shifts at Mid Yorkshire Hospitals Trust, leaving them with concerns for patient safety.

Last week, biomedical staff at Mid Yorkshire Hospital Trusts staged a week-long strike in protest at short staffing and working hours.

Unite union gathered staff on the picket line at Pinderfields Hospital, after a ballot of more than 30 laboratory staff said they were being made to work excessively long hours.

Work carried out by the scientists is used by clinical staff at the hospitals to make critical decisions about their patients care.

Terry Cunliffe, Unite regional officer, said: “This is about the safety of patients.

“People have been working 12-hour shifts and they get tired like anybody else does. That’s when mistakes happen and we want to avoid that.” 

The union claims they approached hospital management about suspending industrial action for talks but it was refused. 

Emma Godfrey, pathology group manager, at Mid Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust, said: “The Trust has been working with Unite in an attempt to resolve the issues and discussions continue. 

“Our number one priority is, as always, patient care and we have put in place a number of measures throughout the strike to ensure the laboratories continue to provide a service to all our patients.”