Next week #GatesheadHealth will enter its longest and most intense period of industrial action so far. This comes at a time when many of our services may still be recovering from the previous actions. Below is a message from our Executive Team to all staff.

We have now been through a number of periods of industrial action and through them all we have pulled together to support each other and patients, at what has been a really challenging time. We know that each period of industrial action brings knock on effects and that the cumulative pressures continue to build up. Please be assured that we are aware that pressure is being felt in all departments and across all levels. We have heard your feedback and share your concerns.

We wanted to say a huge thank you to all our staff for your continued support and commitment to Gateshead Health. As a group, we are continually impressed by your resilience and appreciative of your ongoing commitment to our patients and service users. We know that at times, this has not been easy.

Every member of staff, across all multidisciplinary professions and all support areas has been essential to our response to the industrial action, and we are thankful for the efforts you have made.

In recognition of how ongoing industrial action has affected staff and the challenges that next week will bring for us all, we would like to offer something to hopefully make your day at work just a little easier.

Free food and drink throughout industrial action:

During the time the industrial action is happening all staff will be entitled to:

  • complimentary tea and coffee from the split bean coffee machine in the Hub QE
  • free instant coffee and tea bags in the following:
    • Bensham Hospital café
    • Peter Smith Surgery Centre café
    • Tranwell Unit café
  • free bottled water
  • one free meal per person per day including:
    • the daily ‘chef’s special’ in the Hub restaurant QE, lunch time service will be extended to 3pm during the industrial action
    • soup, or a jacket potato with a hot filling in the Bensham Hospital café
  • ‘care packages’ will be sent for staff working in Blaydon Primary Care Centre
  • ‘care packages’ for the locality teams will be sent to:
    • Chowdene Childrens Centre
    • Felling Health Centre
    • Gateshead Health Centre
    • Low Fell Clinic
    • Team View
    • Trinity Square
    • Tyne View
    • Eastwood
    • QEF Spire House.

it is hoped that the free refreshments and meals will encourage people to leave their work area and enjoy a break wherever possible.

As a reminder unions have asked junior doctors not to begin any shift that is due to start after 6.59am on Monday 13 March 2023 or before 6.59 on Thursday 16 March 2023. They will start work again after 6.59am on Thursday 16th March 2023.

For staff on night shift during the industrial action the usual out of hours offering of a free frozen meal will be available in the Hub and the Peter Smith Surgery Centre.

Thank you again and please continue to support each other.

Best wishes,
Trudie Davies, Joanne Baxter, Andy Beeby, Lisa Crichton-Jones, Kris Mackenzie, Gill Findley.