Nurses to strike for two days before Christmas

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By. Nick Triggle
Health correspondent

Nurses in England, Wales and Northern Ireland are to strike for two days next month in what is set to be their greatest walkout in the NHS’s history

The. Royal College of Nursing (RCN) introduced strikes on 15 and 20 December in its pay dispute with the government

Nurses. will nonetheless provide emergency care, but routine prone will be hit

The. RCN reported it had been given no preference after ministers would not reopen talks, but the authorities reported the 19% pay rise demanded was unaffordable

RCN. normal secretary Pat Cullen said: “Ministers have chosen strike motion.

“Nursing employees have had sufficient of being taken for granted, sufficient of low pay and unsafe staffing levels, sufficient of not being able to give our patients the care they deserve”

Under. commerce union laws, the RCN has to ensure life-preserving care is provided in the course of the strikes, which will final from 8am to 8pm.

This is likely to mean some pressing melanoma services, pressing tests and scans and ongoing care for vulnerable patients will be protected alongside A&E and intensive care – though it will be up to local healthiness bosses and union leaders to negotiate identical staffing levels on strike days

But. it seems nearly certain the walkout will enhance the backlog in non-urgent hospital remedy – a record seven million folks are already on the waiting checklist in England

Louise. Ansari, from the Healthwatch England sufferer watchdog, reported she was “concerned” about the effect on this group of patients

Taking. strike motion makes me sad

Hospital nurse Shaun Williams only began working as a nurse a 12 months ago

He. reported the thought of striking makes him sad, but he is geared up to do it

“I. am sorry we are having to do this.

“But we are doing it for the correct reasons, we are doing it for sufferer safety

“You. are running on reserves most days. We do not have sufficient employees and because of the lack of nurses, patients are at risk

“Unless. we pay nurses more we are not going to attract folks or maintain people”

And. he says except the situation adjustments he could even give up nursing

GP. services, however, will be unaffected as nurses working in practices have been not entitled to take part in the ballot

And. because a sequence of particular person ballots have been held at NHS trusts and boards instead than one nationwide ballot, nurses at more than 40% of England’s hospitals, psychological healthiness and community prone are not entitled to strike because the turnout was too low in those votes

However,. walkouts can occur at all of Northern Ireland’s healthiness boards and in all-but-one in Wales, the Aneurin Bevan

Staggered. action

What is not clear yet is just how many of the prone where strike motion can take place will see walkouts.

It is possible the RCN could stagger the motion so some prone go on strike in December, with others to follow swimsuit next 12 months if the industrial motion continues

It. is seen by the union as a manner of limiting the disruption to patients, while preserving the pressure on the government

Individual. NHS trusts and boards will not find out until next week even if they will see walkouts on the two dates, because that is when the formal notices will go out

The. RCN has called for a rise of 5% above the RPI inflation rate, which presently stands at above 14%, but no UK nation has provided shut to that

In. England and Wales, NHS staff, together with nurses, have been given a rise of at least £1,400 – worth about 4% on general for nurses

In. Northern Ireland, nurses are yet to obtain a pay award because there is no working government

Strike. motion has been suspended in Scotland nevertheless after the authorities there made a fresh. supply worth more than 8% for a newly-qualified nurse. More senior nurses are being provided less

‘Strike. final thing patients need’

During the ballot, the outcomes of which have been introduced two weeks ago, the RCN had argued this year’s below-inflation pay award got here after years of squeezes on nurse’s salaries.

Starting salaries for nurses in England are presently just above £27,000, rising to almost £55,000 for the most senior nurses.

But England Health Secretary Steve Barclay reported the RCN’s calls for have been not affordable, adding he “deeply regretted” union members would be taking action

He. pointed out the authorities had met the suggestions of the impartial NHS Pay Review Body in giving its award

And. it followed a 3% pay rise final year, in recognition of work in the course of the pandemic, despite a public-sector pay freeze

“Our. precedence is preserving patients safe. The NHS has tried and examined plans in place to minimise disruption and ensure emergency prone proceed to operate,” he added

The. Welsh authorities reported it was unable to enter pay talks without additional funding from the UK government

Labour. shadow healthiness secretary Wes Streeting reported talks ought to restart – though he would not commit to paying the above-inflation pay rise the RCN was seeking

“Why. on earth is the healthiness secretary refusing to negotiate with nurses? Patients already can’t get treated on time, strike motion is the final thing they want yet the authorities is letting this occur. Patients will by no means forgive the Conservatives for this negligence”

This. will only be the second time RCN members have been on strike

In. 2019, nurses in Northern Ireland walked out over pay, while nurses who are members of Unison in England walked out in 2014 over pay

A. host of different main healthiness unions, together with Unison, the Royal College of Midwives, GMB and Unite, have all began balloting members

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    • 21 June
    • 7 January 2021

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