Breaking news: Bedford Hospital strike called off after pay offer made

Bedford Hospital (Photo: Dr Robert Oakley)

A scheduled strike involving Healthcare Assistants at Bedford Hospital and Luton & Dunstable Hospital has been called off.

Healthcare Assistants at Bedford Hospital already carried out a 48-hour strike between 11 to 13 March. Any future strike action will now not go ahead.

This is after Bedfordshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust is reported to have made an offer to Healthcare Assistants to move them all up to Band 3 of the NHS pay scale, along with five years worth of back pay to 2019.

Healthcare Assistants are currently paid at Band 2.

UNISON members will now be balloted on whether they want to accept the offer, with the planned strike called off to allow Healthcare Assistants to vote.

Read: Hundreds of Bedford NHS staff announce 48-hour strike in pay dispute

In a strike ballot in February, staff overwhelmingly backed the walkouts with 99% of eligible staff voting in favour, with an offer in January rejected by UNISON members as it, “failed to clarify which staff would be regraded”.

There will now be a consultation to decide whether to accept the revised offer, although a specified timeline has not been made public.

In a post on social media, Bedford and Kempston MP, Mohammad Yasin (Labour) said the outcome was positive.

“I am pleased that the Hospital and Union have been able to negotiate this offer which recognises the importance of Band 2 staff and the additional responsibilities they have taken on,” he said.

This is a breaking news story and more information will be published once it is received.

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