Healthcare assistants at hospitals in Kettering and Northampton vote to strike in pay row

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Hundreds of healthcare assistants at both Kettering and Northampton General Hospitals have voted for strike action in a row over pay.

Across the two trusts 90 per cent of those balloted by union Unison said they would walk out.

They’re joining long-running industrial action across the NHS which has already seen junior doctors, consultants and nurses strike.

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A spokesman for the two Northamptonshire hospitals declined to comment on the latest strike action.


NHS guidance says healthcare assistants on salary band two of the ‘Agenda for Change’ pay scale should only be providing personal care, such as bathing and feeding patients. 

But Unison claims that healthcare assistants have routinely undertaken some clinical tasks, such as taking blood, performing electrocardiogram tests and inserting cannulas.

Unison East Midlands regional secretary Chris Jenkinson said: “It’s time for the chief executive to realise these NHS workers are in no mood to back down. He needs to make them a reasonable offer that address years of pay inequality.

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“However, if he continues to ignore healthcare workers, we will significantly escalate our strike action with staff across Kettering, Leicester and Northampton walking out at the same time next month.

Elsewhere, striking healthcare assistants at University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust have agreed to pause their industrial action to give all three hospital trusts, which are led by the same chief executive, the time they need to get back around the table and come up with a fair deal that pays NHS staff what they’re owed, says Unison.