ACTION BY health workers has defended resources and stopped threats of disciplinary action. Several weeks ago staff in the Community Mental Health Team (CMHT) in south Manchester were told that after a £5 million overspend last year a consultant post would be left vacant.
This meant that severely mentally ill clients in south Manchester would be denied access to specialist medical support except in an emergency. Staff met with their union reps and agreed that to maintain their duty of care to their existing clients, they must refuse to take on any new clients. The next day an agreement was reached between unions and management.
But two weeks later union reps received letters informing them that a 'formal investigation' was taking place and refusing to rule out disciplinary action. A union meeting was called and it was made clear that a huge campaign would be launched. By the end of the week the threat of disciplinary action had been withdrawn.
In the latest sign of the NHS pay revolt, ISS Mediclean domestics and porters at North Manchester General and Booth Hall hospitals have put in a claim for parity with Bolton ISS staff who have recently won a pay rise after striking.
SUPPORT STAFF at south west England's biggest hospital are in dispute and could be moving to strike action. Many of them are employed by private contractor ISS Mediclean. Union officials say there is a staffing crisis at Derriford Hospital in Plymouth and patients are being put at risk.
Gary Smith, GMB organiser for the south west, said strike action had not been ruled out. He said, 'There is a mood of militancy, which shows how bad circumstances have become.'