Planned strikes by biomedical scientists at Blackburn and Burnley hospitals have been averted.

The scientists at Royal Blackburn and Burnley General Hospitals had been escalating their dispute with East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust (ELHT) since February this year. 

This week, a Unite representative revealed ‘planned industrial action has been paused’.

A deal reached relies on the ELHT ‘keeping to commitments made and having many of the actions completed within two months’.

Last week, Unite members said they would go on take part in strike action on 12 separate occasions from November through to February 2024.

ELHT had said it recognised the hard work of colleagues and a meeting had hosted a meeting to address concerns.

Staffing levels in the Blood Sciences department were described as "dangerously low" and the walkouts could have had a serious impact on treatment at ELHT.

Staff numbers in the unit, which provides blood sample analysis and blood products for the entire Trust and wider GP services in East Lancashire, was said to have ‘dwindled over two decades’.

EHLT has been in discussions with the group, and contingency plans have been made for any disruption.