Strike called off at Barnet blood testing centre

19:00 05 October 2012

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A planned walkout at an NHS blood and transporting testing centre in Barnet has been postponed.

Union leaders said they had received assurances from management over job security at Colindale after a series of talks.

Unite had planned strike action at Colindale and a work-to-rule at the blood testing centres at Manchester and Filton, near Bristol, next week over plans to close Colindale and move its services to Filton.

The situation was compounded by the fact the blood centre at Filton was temporarily shut for a week during the recent heavy rain.

Unite’s head of health, Rachael Maskell said: “There are a number of issues that need to be ironed out locally and, as a result, Unite’s members have suspended their industrial action at the three centres to allow the talks with management to proceed in a positive manner.

“Unite will now work with NHS Blood and Transplant Testing (NHSBT) management to maximise efficiencies, within a context of job security and defending this vital public service from the forces of fragmentation and privatisation that currently haunt the corridors of the Department of Health.

“Our members stood together for security of blood and blood products for England, and won job security in this essential public service.”

Unite claimed the NHS’s plans would have meant blood samples from London and the south east travelling for more than two hours for testing at Filton.

Members test samples of blood that is taken from donors to check on its features – and to assure that it is safe to use.

Some specialist testing, such as antenatal testing is also involved.

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