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Staff at Ashworth Secure Hospital to strike over sackings

Hundreds of staff at a high security hospital are to stage a 24-hour strike in a row over the dismissal of two colleagues.

Members of the Prison Officers Association (POA) at Ashworth Secure Hospital on Merseyside will walk out from 7am on November 13, followed by other forms of industrial action.

The union, which has over 500 members at the hospital, said its members were "outraged" over the dismissal of two colleagues for restraining a violent patient.

POA general secretary Steve Gillan said: "Management has a duty of care towards their employees. Instead of playing legal games and attempting to hide behind the law, I urge Merseycare to enter into meaningful discussions."

Industrial action short of a strike will be held until December 4 unless the row is resolved.

Mr Gillan added: "I am astonished that two brave nurses were dismissed because a violent patient made a complaint. When the facts of this case come out, the general public will be appalled."

POA members work as psychiatric nurses at Ashworth, where Moors murderer Ian Brady and police killer Dale Cregan are detained.

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