Hospital strike action could be called off

Scarborough and Bridlington Hospital.
Scarborough and Bridlington Hospital.

A planned 48-hour strike by staff at Bridlington and Scarborough Hospitals could be halted after a significant development.

Porters and cleaners voted last week to walk out for 48 hours over planned changes to their employment contracts.

Today, trade union Unite has hailed ‘a significant victory’ in its campaign to stop NHS trusts in England setting up wholly-owned subsidiaries designed to avoid paying tax.

It has welcomed news from NHS Improvement, the body that oversees trusts, that it would be consulting and issuing new guidance.

Members were gearing up to gearing up to take strike action next Thursday and Friday in a disputes about being transferred to a subsidiary company.

Unite national officer for health, Colenzo Jarrett-Thorpe said: “We regard this as a significant victory in Unite’s long-running campaign to stop the creation of such subsidiaries – and then to reverse them.

“We believe this is in the best interests of patient safety and our members who wish to remain employed by the NHS and not outsourced to an outfit where their pay and employment conditions could be seriously eroded.

“Clarity is needed from the NHS Improvement statement yesterday on wholly owned subsidiaries since this may be able to help resolve the industrial disputes in East Kent and York regarding employee transfers to wholly owned subsidiaries on October 1.”