December 18, 2006 11:07 ET

Christmas scrooges cancel staff lunch at Bedford Hospital Trust

BEDFORD, UNITED KINGDOM--(CCNMatthews - Dec. 18, 2006) - Amicus say they are stunned by Bedford Hospital Trusts decision not to provide canteen facilities for staff on Christmas Day and Boxing Day.

The union say that the Trust must provide staff working over the festival days with the opportunity to have a hot Christmas lunch and dinner on those days, especially as canteen facilities will be providing patients with hot traditional Christmas dinners.
Amicus has written to the Trusts management to ask them to explain the situation and to reconsider their decision not to open canteen facilities to staff over the Christmas period. It is awaiting a reply.

Owen Granfield, Amicus Regional Officer, said:
"It seems that the spirit of scrooge is alive and well in Bedford Hospital Trust. We think a responsible employer operating in a 24/7/365 day service should provide its hard working staff with the option of a hot Christmas dinner and their decision to withdraw it harks of ghosts of winters past.

"This hospital includes the old workhouse and even in 1724, those who worked there over Christmas, were provided all the necessary provisions for eating and drinking.
"Closing the canteen at Christmas is the act of mean minded, penny pinching philistines who have no grasp of social history and who should have no place working in public services - Charles Dickens would have agreed."

"Understandably the staff who have volunteered to work and forgo Christmases with families and friends are very angry and upset."

Notes to Editors:
Amicus represents 100,000 NHS workers including scientists, therapists, craft workers and community health staff, laboratory workers, pharmacists, maintenance staff, speech and language therapists, psychologists, dental staff, health visitors, school nurses and mental health nurses.

Contact Information

  • Amicus Regional Officer
    Owen Granfield
    07768 693942
    Amicus Press Office
    Ashraf Choudhury
    020 7420 8914
    07980 224761