Union threatens strike at blood testing centre

10:01 29 September 2012

2010 Getty Images

Health workers at a blood and transplant testing centre in Barnet plan to stage a walkout in a row over its possible closure.

A two-day strike is planned at the NHS centre in Colindale Avenue from October 10 to 12, following the end last week of a staff consultation.

The Unite union claimed that the recent heavy rain, resulting in the closure of an NHS centre in Bristol, saw the workload at Colindale double.

Leaders claim the bad weather showed how centralising services will put further pressure on its members. Workers test samples of blood taken from donors to ensure that it is safe to use.

Further industrial action is planned for October 24-26 unless the dispute is resolved. They will also be joined by Unite members at blood testing centres in Bristol and Manchester, who will be working to rule from October 10-14 and October 24-28.

Rachael Maskell, from Unite, said: “The heavy rains last week put a dampener on the NHSBT’s proposals to shut the Colindale testing centre.

“We are not just fighting to save its members’ jobs at Colindale, but ensuring that blood samples are not sent on a drive of more than two hours to the West Country – patients deserve better than that.

“We want the future of Colindale safeguarded, as well as the centres at Filton and Manchester.”

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