Radiographers are set to walk out on strike for the first time in an NHS Scotland hospital.
The x-ray staff in Lanarkshire claim changes to rota patterns will risk patient safety and have accused management of failing to address concerns in the long-running dispute.
A total of 36 radiographers at Hairmyres Hospital in East Kilbride, who are members of GMB Scotland, will walk-out on November 16 after informing NHS Lanarkshire.
The health board is seeking to introduce on-call working after launching a new vascular radiography service for patients from across Lanarkshire and the south of Scotland.
However, staff, who voted overwhelmingly in support of strike action in a consultative ballot, fear the proposals risk the safety of patients because of concerns over training and shift changes.
They have voiced concern about training on new equipment and say they feel pressured to accept changes to rotas which, they argue, will leave untrained staff exposed.
The x-ray staff suggest a third radiographer working at night would avert the need for on-call working and ensure the required skills are available to underpin patient safety.
Karen Leonard, GMB Scotland organiser in the NHS, said: “The radiographers have tried repeatedly to explain their concerns and describe a better way forward but have been ignored.
“Instead of basing rotas on their expertise and experience, managers have pressed on with a plan that has the potential to undermine the care of patients.
“These are skilled and committed staff with the insight needed to deliver and improve a crucial part of the hospital’s work but instead of being valued, they feel disregarded.
“No NHS worker wants to strike and this dispute should be ringing alarm bells at the very top of NHS Lanarkshire and the Scottish Government.”
Russell Coulthard, NHS Lanarkshire deputy director of acute services, said: “We received notice on October 27, of intended strike action by GMB member radiographers at University Hospital Hairmyres on November 16.
“We were already in discussion with our radiography staff and GMB representatives in a bid to reach an amicable solution and a meeting is scheduled to take place on Monday, October 30. This meeting will go ahead as planned.
“NHS Lanarkshire is committed to working collaboratively with staff and staff side representatives to ensure the safe and effective provision of the regional vascular services for patients and staff.”
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