Medical secretaries are set to strike

PUBLISHED: 12:51 20 April 2006 | UPDATED: 10:01 06 May 2010

MEDICAL secretaries look set to strike over plans to outsource letter typing. Dozens of jobs will be lost when Lister Hospital outsources its letter typing abroard in order to save the East and North Hertfordshire NHS Trust £1million. The secretaries wor

MEDICAL secretaries look set to strike over plans to outsource letter typing.

Dozens of jobs will be lost when Lister Hospital outsources its letter typing abroard in order to save the East and North Hertfordshire NHS Trust £1million.

The secretaries working at Lister have been left angry and disappointed since the decision to go ahead with the outsourcing plans.

One of them, who did not want to be named, said union members will decide whether to go ahead with a one-day strike but added that it was "very likely" to happen.

She said: "We are all quite depressed about the whole situation. We now believe as many as 58 full time jobs across the trust will go."

She said she hoped union members across the region would support the strike.

"We still hope the managers will see sense and not carry out the plans."

The medical secretaries also want to create posters and flyers to let patients know that the plan is for medical letter typing to be handled outside the hospital and possibly outside the country.

Consultants will dictate letters to GPs, the content of the letters will then be sent away, possibly abroard. The letter will then be typed up, sent back and then checked for mistakes.

No medical notes will be sent over nor will any information which will identify the patient.

An NHS Trust spokesman said: "The Trust is progressing well with talks on behalf of medical secretaries with their unions so we hope that there will be no need for any strike action to be taken. However the Trust has contingency plans in place should this happen.

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