Give us our 1% say Doncsater NHS strikers

Lorna Kemp is pictured holding her new 9lb 30z baby girl born at Doncaster Royal Infirmary at 10.02am on October 13, during a four hour NHS strike.
Lorna Kemp is pictured holding her new 9lb 30z baby girl born at Doncaster Royal Infirmary at 10.02am on October 13, during a four hour NHS strike.
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Hundreds of health workers across the borough have taken part in the first NHS strike over pay for more than 30 years.

NHS staff including nurses, midwives and ambulance staff walked out for four hours between 7am and 11am yesterday at sites including Doncaster Royal Infirmary and Mexborough Montagu Hospital.

Union representatives met with hospital bosses before the strike to ensure emergency patient care, such as treatment for women in labour, was unaffected.

A total of three babies were born during the strike – including the daughter of proud mum Lorna Kemp.

Lorna’s new bundle of joy was born weighing 9lb 3oz at Doncaster Royal Infirmary at 10.02am yesterday, and is yet to be named by her parents.

David Purdue, chief operating Officer at Doncaster and Bassetlaw Hospitals, said of the strike: “Our internal plans and discussions with key union representatives ensured that patient care was unaffected during the industrial action.

“All Trust sites coped well and our emergency theatres were running as planned. We are pleased to report three babies were born, and all mothers and babies are doing well.”

Despite ambulance staff striking yesterday paramedics still attended a number of incidents across the borough during the strike, including a road traffic collision in Cemetery Road, Hatfield, at 7.59am.

The collision involved a Toyota Corolla and a tractor.

The driver of the Toyota Corolla was a man in his 40s who was taken to the Northern General Hospital, Sheffield, for treatment. His injuries are not thought to be life-threatening.

Ian Brandwood, executive director of human resources and operations at Yorkshire Ambulance Service NHS Trust, said: “Thanks go to trade union representatives who agreed a range of contingency plans to ensure those patients who needed emergency care the most were looked after, and to our staff for responding to our most seriously ill and injured patients during the four-hour strike period. We would also like to thank the public for using the 999 service wisely and keeping ambulances available for life-threatening emergencies.”

The nationwide NHS strike is in protest at the Government’s refusal to provide all health service staff with a one per cent pay rise, as recommended by an independent pay review body.

Yesterday’s strike will be followed up with ‘take a break’ action starting today and ending on Friday, through which staff will take the full amount of time allotted for breaks and will work contracted hours.

Unison regional organiser for health, Jim Bell, said the strike had been successful.

Jim said: “The level of public support for the strike has been unprecedented. Despite a one per cent pay rise for all NHS staff being recommended by an independent pay review body, the Government are refusing to honour it.

“This is at a time when MPs are getting an 11 per cent pay rise, while NHS staff have had a pay freeze or rises below inflation, meaning that over the last five years staff have seen their wages fall by 10 per cent in real terms.

“Staff are striking against the Government, not their employer. With the take a break action we are trying to highlight the fact that most NHS staff don’t take breaks, and do hours of unpaid overtime, saving the Government billions.”