Radiographers joined the Consultant and Junior doctors at Torbay and South Devon NHS Foundation Trust on strike yesterday (Tuesday 2nd Oct) following unsuccessful talks between unions and the government.
A picket line was in place as those striking hoped to attract public attention and shine a light on their fight for better pay. The strike impacted those living across Devon as it also affected services at community hospitals in Totnes and Newton Abbot.
Katy Howes, trainee mammographer at Torbay and South Devon NHS Foundation Trust said: “I strike for the future of Radiography. For years we have been chronically understaffed. Which has led to a very tired and stretched workforce. They work on the front line in extremely hostile conditions.
“How can we entice more people to become radiographers, when it takes 3 years of hard study and a large sum of money to learn, for a stressful job at the end which pays not much more than a minimum wage job? I have left working in general radiography. If we can’t retain current staff, how do we hope to gain new Radiographers into the workforce?
“Since I qualified as a Radiographer 9 years ago, staff morale has severely plummeted, as has the service we are able to offer our patients.”
The Society of Radiographers has stated that its members are not only taking a stand for their pay and conditions but also for their patients. They are calling on the government to implement a workforce plan that tackles the current crisis; improve starting pay; agree a plan for pay restoration; and develop a strategy to end the long-hours culture and dependence on agencies. This is the second time they have taken strike action this year after also picketing on the 26th and 27th of July.
Lillie Marshall, representative for The Society of Radiographers at Torbay and South Devon NHS Foundation Trust said: “We are sorry to have to take strike action for a second time, however our feeling is that the government has had the opportunity to negotiate but is not engaging with us in a meaningful way that shows any understanding of why workers are taking this action. I see how my colleagues are struggling and believe we have to take a stand”
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