Radiographers during their last strike in 2014. Photo: Leeds socialist party
Radiographers during their last strike in 2014. Photo: Leeds socialist party

Union rep, Society of Radiographers

The vast majority of radiographers working in the NHS have voted for strike action. In 43 NHS Trusts the majorities were high enough to breach the anti-union thresholds required to gain a legal strike mandate.

Like nurses and doctors, we would not choose to be on picket lines instead of treating patients, but conditions have become intolerable. Our pay has not kept up with inflation for years, despite heavy workloads, chronic staff shortages, and turning up every day through the Covid pandemic!

In a week when we should have been celebrating the 75th anniversary of the NHS in my Trust, we have instead been planning a 48-hour strike. This will have a massive effect. Most patients will need our services when they come into the NHS, from diagnostic X-rays and scans, to radiotherapy and cancer treatments.

Leaving in droves

Like other health professionals, radiographers are leaving the NHS in droves, either to the private sector or leaving the profession entirely. This is not just about pay – it’s the pressure of long hours and workloads, and the stress of not being able to provide the service people need.

This is part and parcel of the Tories’ running down our NHS. It’s nonsense to suggest the private sector can help – they cream off easy procedures or care services that will return a fat profit, but cause chaos when they dabble in diagnostics. We need an inflation-proof pay rise, but we also need a massive injection of funding to provide the care at the point of need that the NHS was founded on.

Please support Society of Radiographers picket lines at hospitals near you – 48 hours, 8am Tuesday 25 July to 8am Thursday 27 July.