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Hospital Recruitment Crisis Medway NHS staff poised to strike over 'exhaustive shift working'

MEDWAY hospital operations face cancellation if theatre staff vote to strike over a staffing crisis, their union Unite warned yesterday.

Medway Maritime Hospital theatre staff have been warning Medway NHS Foundation Trust bosses for more than a year about the threat to patient safety due to the “recruitment and retention”crisis in the operating theatres.

Unite is balloting its 74 anaesthetic practitioner, staff nurse, obstetric and theatre recovery members for strikes and industrial action short of a strike.

The dispute centres on the new rosters introduced on November 13 which, in one case, meant shift members working 12 hours without relief.

Unite regional officer Kathy Walters said: “The new rosters are a definite threat to patient safety as theatre staff will be exhausted if they have to work well over their contracted hours in a week.

“Staff are working the new rotas under protest.”

The ballot opens on December 4 and closes on December 21.

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