The Amicus union is preparing a strike ballot among workers in the NHS blood service to prevent the threatened closure of 14 blood centres. The plans follow two 24-hour strikes in NHS Logistics (see page 5).
Centres at Leeds, Newcastle, Sheffield, Manchester, Liverpool, Birmingham, Bristol, Southampton, Plymouth, Tooting, Colindale, Brentwood, Oxford and Cambridge are threatened. Health ministers plan to replace local centres with regional super centres.
This will cause dangerous delays in the testing and processing of blood. The restructuring will also mean sweeping job losses.
The union plans to ballot its 2,000 members in the agency on strike action.