Unite the Union

Unite the Union

February 25, 2008 08:30 ET

Unite to Fight Trust Proposal to Close Vital Hospital Laboratory

LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM--(Marketwire - Feb. 25, 2008) -

Attention: News, Health, Industrial correspondents & North East media

Unite the union says it will oppose plans by United Lincolnshire Hospitals Trust (ULHT) to close the Lincoln Microbiology Laboratory which it believes will compromise services.

The UK's largest union says that the Lincoln Microbiology Laboratory, based at the Lincoln County Hospital (LCH), is vital for testing samples for the 'superbugs' MRSA and Closridium Difficile. The laboratory has served the hospital and surrounding GP practices for over 50 years, providing a round the clock service, 365 days a year. Unite say the laboratory, which employs ten biomedical scientists and eleven support staff, is of 'critical importance' to the area and in the past year has tested over 128,000 samples.

The proposal which has been made in a bid to cut costs, has been accepted in principle by the trust, despite LCH being the largest acute hospital in the county.

If the plans go ahead, tens of thousands of samples will have to be transported over 30 miles to Scunthorpe or Boston from June this year, resulting in soaring transport costs and putting in jeopardy the excellent speed and quality of service that LCH provides.

Unite Regional Officer, Steve Syson, said:

"This proposed closure will have a far-reaching effect on the service the local community receive and we believe this to be foolhardy with no public consultation taking place.

"Many of the consultants and doctors working at LCH are urging hospital management not to close the lab saying that it would have a severe detrimental affect on the service they receive and that it might hinder some specialist services carried out at LCH.

"Unite is seeking urgent meetings with the trusts management to discuss the future of the lab and we will be insisting that every possible option and alternative is explored before closure of this vital local service is considered."

Contact Information

  • Steve Syson
    07960 091887
    Unite Press Office
    Ashraf Choudhury
    020 7420 8914 or 07980 224761