NHS supply couriers say pressure of pay cuts is “risking lives”

NHS supply couriers

A medical courier is a valued professional in the society. Medical couriers working with NHS have affirmed that pay cuts are risking lives. The pressure of real-terms pay cuts has resulted in several crashes including severe ones. Riders for TDL-The Doctors’ Laboratory, a pathology firm that delivers transfusion blood and medical samples to many hospitals in the city of London has started a spirited campaign agitating for better working conditions and better pay. The TDL couriers have joined protests against the dubious working conditions created by IWGB- Independent Workers’ Union of Great Britain and also plan to lobby the major clients of the firm including NHS to support their protest.

One of the TDL motorbike couriers who have worked for the firm for over 13 years claimed that he has never received a pay increment. Based on inflation, the courier would have received over 40% pay rise. In 2015, TDL increased the pay per job rates by 30% and the courier suggest that more changes that were effected in 2017 resulted in another significant reduction in the take-one pay. Despite the issues raised by TDL couriers, the firm still claims that it has continued to pay slightly above the industry rate and any reviews made mirrors the stagnant wages in the broader economy. Although it is not possible to associate individual accidents to the unfair culture o TDL, each of the medical couriers linked the accidents to the increasing stress levels resulting from the out-of-touch leadership that fails to identify the inherent risks of delivering fundamental medical supplies under strict timelines.

The TDL couriers’ concerns increased last when the CEO received a 10% pay rise at a time when the rates of the frontline employees were lowered. Duncan, a TDL motorcycle courier also affirmed that majority of 100 riders from TDL are not categorised as employees but workers. As a consequence, workers who get involved in accidents are not given any sick pay, meaning that a crash is both traumatic and expensive. If a medical courier is poorly paid, he or she will be less motivated to deliver the critical medical supplies to save the lives of the sick.

The couriers want TDL to value their highly skilled and long-term staff. Marshall, another medical courier from TDL pointed out that some workers have been providing courier services to the company for over two decades but they have not received a remarkable pay rise. The medical couriers also criticize IWGB for failing to accept the enhanced offer proposed by the protesting couriers. Improved pay will raise the workers’ satisfaction levels, boost job commitment and create a deep sense of loyalty critical in any healthcare related job to save more lives. Every TDL or NHS medical courier deserves a better pay and good working conditions to perform the humble duty of delivering medical supplies at the right time to save lives.