Bury St Edmunds: West Suffolk Hospital staff enjoy their breaks during UNISON paella protest

Paella Protest at West Suffolk Hospital. Left to right, Yvonne Cleary and Theresa Jones.

Paella Protest at West Suffolk Hospital. Left to right, Yvonne Cleary and Theresa Jones. - Credit: Gregg Brown

A paella protest at West Suffolk Hospital, on Hardwick Heath, took place on Thursday, to encourage NHS staff to take their breaks.

The lunchtime event saw paella served up for free to those who might usually work through their breaks and was organised by public sector union, UNISON.

Yvonne Cleary, regional organiser for the union, said: “It was good bit of fun and a good way to encourage people to come out, meet other people and enjoy their breaks.

“Some people might not be taking the breaks they are entitled to, and they should. They are under a lot of pressure and often end up working through.

“We are saying they shouldn’t do that. They do it because they are conscientious and the hospitals are short staffed, but they need their breaks.”

The protest came in a week of work to rule carried out by healthcare unions, following a four hour strike on Monday. Some figures put the money saved by staff working through breaks at £1 million a year