November 27, 2006 04:26 ET

NHS Blood Service Staff Prepared To Strike

LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM--(CCNMatthews - Nov. 27, 2006) - Amicus is warning the NHS Blood Service that it is preparing to ballot its members for industrial action following a consultative ballot showing that 81% of Amicus members working at the centres are in favour of industrial action.

The consultative ballot was held because the NHS plan to close fourteen blood centres across the country. A 3 week formal postal ballot will follow immediately and it's entirely possible there could be strike action over Xmas unless the National Blood Service backs down.

The health union say that putting at risk centres in Leeds, Newcastle, Sheffield, Manchester, Liverpool, Birmingham, Bristol, Plymouth, Southampton, Tooting, Colindale, Brentwood, Oxford and Cambridge threatens the loss of hundreds of highly skilled technical and scientific staff from the NHS and will leave major cities without facilities for the testing and processing of blood.

Amicus say the cuts are being made without meaningful consultation with either the trade unions or the local communities and despite making representations to the NHS Blood and Tissue Authority. The existing centres are to be replaced with new super centres in Bristol and unnamed locations in the South East and the North.

Amicus' Regional Officer Owen Granfield says,

"This is a wake up call to senior management who need to sit down with Amicus and talk about the future of the service.

Hundreds of technical and scientific staff jobs are being put at risk and these highly skilled jobs cannot just be recruited or relocated to different parts of the country.

This mirrors exactly what is wrong with the NHS reform agenda. Modernisation is being rushed through without engagement and consultation with either staff or local communities.

The NHS and the nation has invested millions in training these staff and now proposes to just dispose of them.

The geographical gaps in service could also mean delays for the vital testing of blood for many thousands of people."

Amicus say existing centres need to be replaced with at least five national centres, with additional facilities required in the North East, North West and the Midlands.


Contact Information

  • Amicus Press Officer
    Ciaran Naidoo
    020 7420 8931 / 07768 931 315