Hospital staff to lobby government

FURIOUS staff at a Suffolk hospital who claim they are being forced to put up with poor working conditions are taking their concerns to the Government.

FURIOUS staff at a Suffolk hospital who claim they are being forced to put up with poor working conditions are taking their concerns to the Government.

Terry Marshall, kitchen porter at the West Suffolk Hospital in Bury St Edmunds, will be handing in a 500-signature petition to Home Secretary David Blunkett later this month in a bid to improve their working life.

Mr Marshall is also calling for the abolishment of car parking prices and a review of canteen charges for fellow ancillary staff who he said earned a "pittance".

He said: "We told the hospital management we would take our petition to London but nothing has ever been done.


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"I think ancillary staff do a brilliant job, often doing the jobs no one else wants to, and we are paid a pittance.

"Everyone realises there is budget problems in the hospital but the catering department actually makes a profit."

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Mr Marshall claimed some workers were refused extra breaks after feeling faint in 110F temperatures in the summer while a drinks machine in their department was broken throughout the hot weather.

He refused to rule out taking the matter to a public inquiry in an attempt to improve working conditions.

"It is continually going downhill – we want to get working conditions for our ancillary staff in keeping with the 21st century," Mr Marshall said.

"Our conditions are going downhill and it is no wonder we are losing staff. We have brought up this concerns at different meetings and we keep on being ignored."

But a hospital spokesman said there were a number of ways staff could vent their concern including a 24-hour confidential phone line, regular trust meetings and a staff newsletter.

The spokesman added: "Car parking is a problem in the West Suffolk Hospital site as there are simply too many cars for the number of spaces available.

"But we cannot allow trying to solve our car parking problems to divert money away from other activities such as patient care."

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