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‘Serious impact’ feared throughout NHS as radiographers in England plan strikes

Strike action by radiographers would have a “serious impact” on the NHS potentially affecting “nine out of 10” patients, the Society of Radiographers has said.

Dean Rogers, the union’s director of industrial strategy, told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme that this week’s vote to walk out is a “cry for help from the profession” and urged the government to enter talks to discuss “urgent improvements to pay and conditions”.

The latest industrial action comes as NHS consultants are planning a walkout on 20 and 21 July – just days after junior doctors in England are due to strike for five days over pay, which starts on 13 July.

Mr Rogers said: “Nine out of 10 people see a radiographer in their treatment. We are absolutely on the front of the frontline.

“We absolutely know how serious and what an impact our members could have. The Government are ignoring that fact and ignoring that reality.

“Patients are suffering every day now and this is a cry for help from the profession as much for the patients as it is for themselves.”

Radiographers voted in favour of strike action on Friday after rejecting an offered pay rise of five per cent plus a one-off lump sum.

He said action has been “building up for a very long time” amid pressure on the workforce and demand outstripping investment.

“It’s still not too late to divert the strikes. We believe there are things that could happen and could be done if the minister sits down with us and talks to us seriously about addressing some of the concerns of our members,” he added.

As yet no date has been set for radiographers, who carry out X-rays, MRI and CT scans, to walk out but the first trike is expected to also take place in July.

Radiography staff are also responsible for carrying out ultrasounds and breast screening, as well as radiotherapy for cancer patients.

Staff at 43 NHS trusts in England have a mandate to stage walkouts, the union said after balloting 20,000 of its members.

Trusts affected include major cancer hubs and the hospital in health minister Will Quince’s constituency.

Other hospitals impacted include the Royal Marsden, University College London Hospitals, Liverpool University Hospitals, Sheffield Teaching Hospitals, Nottingham University Hospitals, University Hospitals Bristol and Weston and East Suffolk and North Essex have a mandate to strike.

The Society of Radiographers said it is consulting with its members about the next steps, including where and when members will take strike action.

Additional reporting by Press Association

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