Chesterfield Royal Hospital hopeful of ‘business as usual’ during planned strike

Chesterfield Royal Hospital
Chesterfield Royal Hospital
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Hospital bosses in Chesterfield say it will be ‘business as usual’ for patients if planned strike action by NHS staff goes ahead on Thursday.

Workers from unions including Unison, Unite, GMB and the Royal College of Midwives are due to be taking part in a national walkout over pay - although talks are still going on with Government in a bid to prevent the strike.

But Chesterfield Royal Hospital NHS Foundation Trust say that if the walkout does go ahead, patients will not face substantial disruption.

All critical services, including the emergency department, neo-natal unit, cancer care and emergency operating theatres, will operate as normal.

Chief executive Gavin Boyle said: “In partnership with the union and staff-side representatives here, we have acknowledged the ‘right to strike’ but in a way that does not compromise services and the quality of care we provide. We have agreed that any industrial action will not impact our patients’ safety or put them at risk. By voluntarily letting us know in advance if they intend to strike, our staff have once again enabled us to put plans in place to ensure services will be safe. We really appreciate this co-operation and commitment to our patients.”

Previous strikes by NHS staff in the dispute took place in October and November and additional action is planned in the next few weeks, including another potential strike on February 25.

The dispute centres on a pay offer for NHS staff, which is a one per cent cash payment in 2014, restricted to staff not eligible for incremental progression and the same approach in 2015.

This goes against a recommended one per cent pay rise for all staff suggested by an independent pay review board.

Unison head of health Christina McAnea said: “The last thing they want to do is inconvenience patients, but the cost of denying staff the one per cent pay rise the public knows they deserve is huge.”