A week-long hospital strike over new shift patterns has been suspended.

Pathologists at Barking, Havering and Redbridge University Hospitals NHS Trust (BHRUT) were set to strike over a planned move from the present ‘on call’ system to a seven day a week shift system.

Represented by Unite the Union, the biomedical scientists, who provide sample testing services to King George and Queen’s hospitals, said the move could lose them up to £10,000 a year in overtime pay.

Hospital bosses refuted this figure and agreed a pay protection scheme for 18 months for affected staff to ease the reduction in pay.

The strike, which was set to begin on Monday, November 4, has been suspended as talks resume between Unite and BHRUT.

A Unite spokesperson said: “Talks will resume on Monday between Unite the union and the management over plans for new shift patterns that will impact on our 88 biomedical scientists.

“Our members at Queen’s Hospital, Romford and King George Hospital, Ilford will be working normally next week.

“Unite won’t be commenting further until the talks have concluded.”