Blood test strike action suspended at Queen’s and King George hospitals

Strike action at Queen’s and King George hospitals has been suspended while the unions resume talks with management staff at the hospital trust.

Blood testing departments in Queen's Hospital in Rom Valley Way, Romford and King George Hospital in Barley Lane, Goodmayes were due to close this week but will now remain open at normal times after a week-long strike was cancelled.

Biomedical scientists were opposing the introduction of a new 24/7 shift pattern at the pathology department in Barking, Havering and Redbridge University Hospitals NHS Trust (BHRUT).

Unite regional officer Ruth Hydon told the Recorder that following talks with management at BHRUT on Friday, November 1, the union was satisfied that meetings would be arranged with representatives of the trust and that consultation will take place with the union and representative to reach a collective agreement.

She said: "This would not have happened if we had not stood united together and been prepared to take strike action [this] week.

"We are stronger together and we must maintain our resolve and focus on getting the best outcome in the coming weeks.

"The industrial action ballot provides a mandate for Unite to call for strike action over a six month period so we will await the outcome of the talks on Monday but the pressure will remain on the trust to resolve this dispute in a way that our members can accept."

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A Unite spokesman added: "Talks will resume on Monday between Unite the union and the management over plans for new shift patterns that will impact on our 88 biomedical scientists.

"Our members at Queen's Hospital, Romford and King George Hospital, Goodmayes will be working normally next week."