Second round of nurse strikes ‘unjustifiable and unnecessary’, says health minister

With 100,000 members of the Royal School of Nursing (RCN) staging their second walkout throughout England, Wales and Northern Eire on Tuesday, minister for well being and secondary care Will Quince has referred to as the motion “unjustifiable and pointless”.

He mentioned: “My message to the unions is obvious, these strikes are unjustifiable and pointless. The federal government accepts the pay overview physique’s suggestion in full, if strikes are to go forward then it’s important that affected person security is the precedence for the unions as it’s for the federal government”.

Looking forward to deliberate industrial motion by ambulance employees on Wednesday, Mr Quince added: “[Unions have] bought to be guaranteeing that essentially the most critical call-outs for ambulances … are coated on strike day”. Union officers have mentioned that class 2 incidents, comparable to strokes or circumstances of significant chest ache, can be attended to throughout industrial motion.

Quince’s feedback come as hundreds of nurses are staging a second walkout with the RCN persevering with their name for a 19.2% pay rise. This follows an preliminary day of business motion on 15 December, the RCN’s greatest in its historical past.


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Round 1 / 4 of hospitals and group groups in England are collaborating within the strike, alongside all trusts in Northern Eire and all however one well being board in Wales.

Talking to Sky Information, Mr Quince mentioned that his and well being secretary Steve Barclay’s doorways “are open in relation to discussing points round affected person security and dealing circumstances for workers”.

“What we aren’t keen to barter is reopening the pay for this yr, which is a part of the impartial pay overview physique suggestions, which the federal government accepted in full”, he added.

Mr Quince mentioned pay overview our bodies had been now taking a look at pay suggestions for subsequent yr, from April.

The RCN’s common secretary and chief govt, Pat Cullen, mentioned: “For many people, that is our first time hanging and our feelings are actually combined. The NHS is in disaster, the nursing occupation can’t take any extra, our family members are already struggling.

“It isn’t unreasonable to demand higher. This isn’t one thing that may wait. We’re dedicated to our sufferers and at all times can be”.

Talking to BBC Radio 4‘s “At present” programme, Ms Cullen confirmed that if there’s not a change in method from the federal government the RCN, “[will have] no choice however to proceed strikes into January”.

Nurse strikes in Scotland had been referred to as off final week after a pay provide was made by Holyrood, the Scottish parliament. 

Forward of the strikes at this time, Mr Barclay mentioned: “The RCN’s calls for are unaffordable throughout these difficult instances and would take cash away from frontline companies whereas they’re nonetheless recovering from the impression of the pandemic.

“I’m open to partaking with the unions on find out how to make the NHS a greater place to work”.