Redbridge Strikes: Nurses join King George Hospital picket line

Nurses, phsyiotherapists and occupational therapists have joined a wide range of hospital staff on the picket line at King George Hospital today.

Up to 100 staff from four unions are manning two picket lines at the site in Barley Lane, Goodmayes, according to Labour MP Mike Gapes.

Essential and emergency treatment is still going on inside the hospital after managers struck a deal with unions to keep services going.

Mr Gapes said: “There were loads of people, and they were getting a warm response from the public, a lot of patients were stopping to talk to them.

“There is a substantial bank of the public who believe that the way public sector workers are being treated is wrong.”

A spokesman for King George Hospital said it was running a reduced service today but there were no major problems.

Emergency surgery, cancer treatment and other urgent departments have been unaffected by today’s action, which has seen about two million public sector workers walk out in the row over their pension contributions.

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The London Ambulance Service is prioritising the most urgent cases while it operates with a substantially reduced service today. A spokesman urged people only to call an ambulance if it was “absolutely necessary”

Vicky Lucioni, Unison regional organiser for health, said: “We have had a great response from everyone, pensioners have said ‘good on you’ and taxis, ambulances and cars have all been beeping their support.”