Radiographers set to strike

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NHS staff will strike again on Monday as the pay dispute between the government and the Society of Radiographers rages on.

All work will stop from 8am until noon and will be followed by a week of working-to-rule, where employees will meet only the basic criteria set out in their contracts.

Richard Evans, the chief executive officer of the Society of Radiographers, has said that ten other unions with staff in the NHS will also be joining in.

“The four hour stoppage in October and this Monday’s action are the first time since 1982 that radiographers have gone on strike over pay,” he said.

“Radiographers do not want to hurt the people that they serve. Steps have been taken to minimise the impact on patients and their families.

“Why are the administrations in England and Northern Ireland not even capable of meeting with the unions to discuss a creative way forward?”

The devolved governments in Scotland and Wales have already come to an agreement with diagnostic imaging and radiotherapy professionals, who have halted planned industrial action.

The government rejected a recommended 1% pay rise for the current year and has said that there will be no increase in 2015 either.

Emergency and urgent care will continue to be provided on Monday morning but pre-booked appointments and procedures may be affected.

For the rest of the week radiographers will take scheduled breaks and will not work unpaid overtime.

Nine out of ten patients see a radiographer during their time in hospital and a recent study estimated that 300,000 patients in England wait more than a month for their results.

The Society is concerned that current shortages of trained staff will become even worse if the dispute drags on and there is no improvement in pay.

In the long term there are also fears that students will choose other professions if pay continues to fall in value.