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18 February, 2000
NHS STAFF AT FRIMLEY PARK HOSPITAL TO LOBBY
Members of health union MSF are to lobby local MPs, Gerald Howarth and Nick Hawkins as part of the campaign to get low paid NHS professional and technical staff covered by the Pay Review Body.
MSF representative Eddie Wilson, a Medical Laboratory Scientific Officer at Frimley Park Hospital is due to meet the MPs, who represent the Aldershot and Surrey Heath constituencies respectively on Friday, 25 February at Frimley Park Hospital to outline MSF's campaign to achieve Pay Review status.
The MPs will visit the partnership pathology services at the hospital and meet laboratory staff.
Mr Wilson said: "At the current rates of pay, we can't attract the recruits we need to fulfill the Government's pledges to modernise the NHS. The workload continues to increase, but the resources to retain and recruit staff to meet this rising demand don't appear to be there."
"The people of the Aldershot and Camberley areas should realise the potential time bomb that they are faced with. Because we are not covered by the Pay Review Body, our pay has been allowed to slip disastrously and highly skilled people have left the NHS as a result. We are asking Gerald Howarth and Nick Hawkins to campaign on our behalf."
At present, a trainee Medical Laboratory Scientific Officer (MLSO) with a degree starts on £9,400, while their counterparts in the private sector could earn more than double that.
MSF's Head of Health, Roger Kline said: "Laboratory and technical staff, pharmacists, clinical psychologists and speech and language therapists are the back bone of the NHS. Tests for cancerous cells and work to curtail other threatening conditions would not happen without their expertise."
"Their professionalism and dedication saves - and improves - the lives of thousands of patients each year - yet they are amongst the worst paid staff in the NHS. Now is the time for the Government to recognise their sterling contribution."
Hundreds of MSF members from across the country will be converging on the House of Commons to lobby MPs on Wednesday, 5 April.
More than 150 MPs have signed an Early Day Motion calling on the Government to urgently address the issue of pay for staff groups outside the Pay Review Body.
NOTE FOR NEWS DESKS
The MPs will be visiting the hospital at 10.00am on Friday, 25 February and are available for a photo-call at 10.20am.
For further information, please contact
Roger Kline 0468 69 39 34
MSF represents 65,000 health service professionals including the Guild of Healthcare Pharmacists, laboratory scientific staff, the College of Health Care Chaplains, the Community Psychiatric Nurses Association, the Medical Practitioners Union, clinical psychologists, speech therapists, the Hospital Physicists Association and the Community Practitioners' and Health Visitors' Association.
MSF has 400,000 skilled and professional members in a wide range of industries. It is the UK's fifth largest union.