SUPER SLIMMER RUNS FOR CHARITY A nurse who lost around 16 stone is preparing to run non-stop for 24 hours in a loop by the River Tyne in Newcastle. Mental health nurse specialist Adrian Brooks (pictured) reduced his weight to 14 stone, 13 pounds in the past five years through healthy eating and running, after scaring himself when he struggled to breathe after rolling over in bed. Now he is undertaking the running challenge to raise £6,000 for young people’s charity Brathay Trust. He will dash at least 100 times around a one-mile circuit at the Newcastle and Gateshead quayside, starting at 6pm on October 30 and ending 24 hours later.

Three unions prepare to strike in anger over pay later this month By Katie Osborne


Nurses angry at the government’s refusal to give all NHS staff a 1 per cent rise will go on strike for four hours later this month on October 13. Unison has announced the stoppage – the first in 32 years – after 68 per cent of its members voted for it in a ballot held during the summer. The walk out will be followed by four days of industrial action, which will involve healthcare workers no longer working through their breaks. Members of Unite have also voted by 62 per cent to strike on the same day as Unison. In Northern Ireland, 78 per cent of members will strike from 11am to 3pm. Following the walk out, Unite members will work to rule until November 9, adhering to the 37.5 hour working week. The Royal College of Midwives will also walk out on October 13 after members voted by 82 per cent to take part in a strike. Anger has been growing over health secretary Jeremy Hunt’s decision

to only award a 1 per cent rise, recommended by the NHS Pay Review Body for all staff, to those at the top of their pay band who would not receive an incremental rise. Unison’s head of nursing Gail Adams said that discussions had now been initiated at a local

PATIENT CARE IS ALREADY BEING COMPROMISED BY POOR STAFFING LEVELS level to arrange emergency cover during periods of industrial action to minimise the effect on patients. ‘Whenever we take industrial action, which is extremely rare, we aim to minimise the impact as much as possible,’ she said. ‘It is not an easy decision for anyone to make, but the fact is that patient care is already being compromised by poor staffing levels. ‘If we do not pay staff and recognise their vital contribution, we will lose the highly-skilled people we have got. ‘The government should be taking immediate steps to give the 1 per cent

pay rise, and to say they cannot afford it is rubbish,’ she added. Unite head of health Rachael Maskell said: ‘Our members have seen their income fall by 15 per cent since 2010.’ She added they have given a resounding rejection of Cameron and his government, which vetoed the 1 per cent pay rise. Nurses earned on average £30,761, a 0.5 per cent increase on 2013, according to the HSCIC. Ms Adams said a survey carried out by Unison in March had shown that even though nurses work through 60 per cent of their breaks on average, some essential patient care was still left undone. A Department of Health spokesperson said it was ‘disappointed’ that Unison had announced industrial action, adding that the NHS could not afford a pay rise for all on top of the incremental pay rises for staff who are not at the top of their pay bands. Unison is one of four health unions – along with the Royal College of Midwives, Unite and the GMB – to ballot its members on strike action.

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