Crawley Medical Secretaries Protest

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Medical secretaries demonstrate outside Crawley Hospital yesterday against outsourcing
Medical secretaries demonstrate outside Crawley Hospital yesterday against outsourcing

MEDICAL secretaries mounted a lively lunch-time demonstration outside Crawley Hospital in West Sussex yesterday against Surrey and Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust’s decision to outsource the typing of patient letters.

The Unison members won great support from passing motorists honking their horns as protesters shouted: ‘What do we want? No Outsourcing!’

Addressing the health workers, Unison area organiser Mick Moriarty was cheered when he told them that the Trust board have called an emergency meeting this Thursday ‘to consider an in-house option’.

He said it was ‘reward’ for the determination of medical secretaries to fight outsourcing, adding: ‘You’ve won the first battle.’

There is to be an emergency meeting of Unison medical secretaries on Friday at 11am so that the union can ‘explore all options on provisions’ put forward by the Trust, Moriarty told News Line.

Consequently, today’s planned lunch-time protest at Redhill Hospital will not go ahead. However, Moriarty stressed: ‘It is not cancelled, it’s postponed.’

Unison Surrey and Sussex health regional organiser Stephanie Cesana told News Line: ‘The three key things about outsourcing we are protesting against today are, patient confidentiality, patient safety and patient confidence.

‘We think all of these will be compromised by the outsourcing and could lead to many job losses, up to 20 per cent.

‘It is the first time these workers have demonstrated but it is the first in a series of campaigns at hospitals around the region run by this trust.

‘Hopefully, we’ll get resolution but if not we are up for extending the campaign which, at the end of the day, is principally against the privatisation of the NHS and cuts to the health service.’

The Trust employs over 100 medical secretaries, of which 80 are Unison members.