Thursday, April 05, 2007

GMB slam Lewisham PCT

THE GMB general union has made a strong criticism of Lewisham Primary Care Trust over its failure to make proper provision for nursing care to people covered by the trust over the four-day Easter bank holiday.
GMB gave the PCT until 2.30 pm last Friday to give the union a guarantee that it would provide the necessary level of nursing care cover, over the Easter but no such guarantee was given.
GMB had been alerted to a possible shortfall in nursing cover over the Easter holidays within the trust by nurses employed by the trust who belong to GMB’s sister organisation and nursing specialist, the Community and District Nursing Association (CDNA).
CDNA reports that its member nurses have been told by the human resources team at the trust that they will be forced to take holidays over Easter, leaving a potential shortfall in nursing cover for patients recovering from operations in their own homes needing Community District Nursing Care.
The enforced reduction in staff numbers will increase the workload on already stretched nurses, who will be unable to cope.
GMB says that management must realise that just because they can finish at 5.00 pm on Thursday before a bank holiday and return to work on Tuesday at 9.00 am that nurses who provide patient care must continue to provide patient care.

RMT says Ladbroke Grove key lessons not learned

KEY LESSONS from the 1999 Ladbroke Grove tragedy have not been learned, the RMT rail union said last Friday as a £4 million fine was handed down to Network Rail for Railtrack’s role in the crash, which left 31 people dead and 400 injured.
Privatisation, fragmentation, the absence of train protection and the lack of corporate accountability were at the heart of the Ladbroke Grove tragedy, and each problem remained to be dealt with, RMT said.
“It is only right that the survivors and the families of those killed have heard the catalogue of failings that led to the disaster aired in court, but it was the wrong people in front of the judge,” RMT general secretary Bob Crow said.
“The Railtrack executives whose negligence led to the Ladbroke Grove crash walked quietly away a long time ago.
“Until we have an effective corporate manslaughter law that puts bosses whose negligence leads to unnecessary death and injury in the dock and facing the prospect of prison, justice will not be done, no matter how big the fines.
“After Clapham in 1988 we were promised automatic train protection, which would have prevented Ladbroke Grove and saved 31 lives, but we are still no nearer getting it because it is deemed too expensive.
“The Cullen inquiry into Ladbroke Grove insisted that the regulation of rail safety should be in independent hands, but that process has been thrown into reverse and key safety areas have been handed back to the commercial interests that will always put profit first.
“Cullen also pointed to the crucial role played by the guard in the aftermath of Ladbroke Grove, but only this week we have learned of plans to do away with guards on busy commuter lines in and out of London,” Bob Crow said.