London Daily

Focus on the big picture.
Wednesday, Feb 21, 2024

Largest nursing strike in NHS history set to start

Largest nursing strike in NHS history set to start

Nurses in England, Wales and Northern Ireland have started a nationwide strike in the largest action of its kind in NHS history.

Staff will continue to provide "life-preserving" and some urgent care but routine surgery and other planned treatment is likely to be disrupted.

The Royal College of Nursing said staff had been given no choice after ministers refused to reopen pay talks.

The UK government said the RCN's 19% pay rise demand was unaffordable.

RCN general secretary Pat Cullen has called on the government to "do the decent thing" and resolve the dispute before the year ends.

Ms Cullen told BBC Breakfast the strike marked "a tragic day in nursing".

"We need to stand up for our health service, we need to find a way of addressing those over seven million people that are sitting on waiting lists, and how are we going to do that? By making sure we have got the nurses to look after our patients, not with 50,000 vacant posts, and with it increasing day by day," she said.

Health Minister Maria Caulfield, a former nurse, accepted "it is difficult" living on a nurse's wage, but said that a 19% pay rise "is an unrealistic ask".

The action will involve nurses in around a quarter of hospitals and community teams in England, all health boards in Northern Ireland and all but one in Wales. Nurses are not striking in Scotland.

Under trade union laws, the RCN has to ensure life-preserving care continues during the 12-hour strike.

Chemotherapy and kidney dialysis should run as normal, along with intensive and critical care, children's accident and emergency and hospital neonatal units, which look after newborn babies.

Beyond that, it will be up to NHS boards and trusts to negotiate services on a local level, with discussions likely to come down to the circumstances of some individual patients.

The biggest impact is likely to be in pre-booked treatment such as hernia repair, hip replacements or outpatient clinics.

The NHS has said it is "vital" people continue to come forward for emergency care during the strikes and anyone not contacted to reschedule an appointment should attend as planned.

"There's no other option because the government isn't listening."
Lyndsay Thompson, nurse anaesthetist

"Nurses have had enough - we are underpaid and undervalued," nurse anaesthetist and local RCN steward Lyndsay Thompson, from Northern Ireland, says.

"Yes, this is a pay dispute but it's also very much about patient safety.

"The fact we cannot recruit enough nurses means patient safety is being put at risk."

Ms Thompson, who has worked as a registered nurse for 12 years, says her colleagues "absolutely do not want to strike" but feel the need to take action "to protect the NHS" after a period of below-inflation pay rises.

"We just feel we have no other option, because the government is not listening to us," she says.

The RCN balloted more than 300,000 nurses across individual NHS trusts and boards rather than in a single, national vote.

This means some nurses are not entitled to take industrial action, because the turnout in their local area was too low.

In England, the first round of strikes will go ahead in 51 of 219 hospitals, mental-health trusts and community services.

Strikes are also going ahead in all of Northern Ireland's health boards and all but one in Wales, the Aneurin Bevan.

Most GP services will be unaffected, as nurses working directly for practices were not entitled to take part in the vote, but the strike will include district nurses working in people's homes or community settings.

A second day of strike action will go ahead on 20 December, unless there is a breakthrough in talks.


How will patients be affected?


*  People who are seriously ill or injured, and whose life is at risk, should call 999 as usual, or call 111 for non-urgent care

*  Other services, such as some cancer treatments, mental health services or urgent testing, may be partially staffed

*  More routine care is likely to be badly affected, including planned operations such as knee and hip replacements, community nursing services and health visiting

*  Official advice is that anyone with an appointment which hasn't already been rearranged should turn up at their allotted time

*  GPs, community pharmacies and dentists will not be affected

In England and Wales, most NHS staff have already received a pay rise of roughly £1,400 this year - worth about 4% on average for nurses.

The political situation in Northern Ireland meant there was a delay in processing the increase - but nurses should receive backdated payments before the end of the year.

The RCN wants a larger rise, of 5% above the RPI inflation rate, which currently stands at 14%, saying its members have received years of below-inflation pay increases.


England's Health Secretary, Steve Barclay, said further pay rises would mean taking money away from other front-line services.

"I've been working across government and with medics outside the public sector to ensure safe staffing levels - but I do remain concerned about the risk that strikes pose to patients," he said.

Mr Barclay added that the government had followed the recommendation of the independent NHS Pay Review Body, which said in July NHS staff should receive the £1,400 increase, with slightly more for the most experienced nurses.

The body, made up mainly of economists and human-resources (HR) professionals, had been asked to base that recommendation on a range of factors, including:

*  the need to recruit staff

*  the funds available to the NHS

*  the government's 2% inflation target

Welsh ministers said they were unable to enter pay talks without extra funding from the UK government.

In Scotland, the RCN's strike action has been "paused", after ministers made a fresh offer worth just over £2,200 a year for most NHS staff. Nurses have been asked to vote on that deal, with results due next week.

"If lives are at risk... it feels wrong to strike."
David, heart patient


David was meant to have a pacemaker fitted on Thursday at a hospital in Wales.

Since he had major heart surgery five years ago, his NHS treatment has been "second to none", he says.

But being called and told Thursday's procedure had been postponed has left him "frustrated and disappointed" - and he has not yet been given a new date.

"If you're [working] in a profession where lives are at risk, I feel [it is] wrong to strike," David says.

"Particularly at Christmas and when other people are striking as well, it's not a good time."

Union bosses have offered to suspend strikes if the UK government agrees to reopen serious discussions over pay.

But a face-to-face meeting earlier this week broke down, with the RCN accusing Mr Barclay of "belligerence" and having "too little to say".

This will be only the second time RCN members have walked out in its 106-year history. Until 1995, the union had a formal no-strike policy in its rulebook.

In 2019, nurses in Northern Ireland went on strike over pay. And in 2014, those in England who were members of Unison walked out - also over pay.

This winter, a number of other major health unions, including Unison, the GMB, Unite the Union and the Royal College of Midwives, have also voted to strike in different parts of the UK, with a series of walkouts planned over Christmas and the new year.


Watch this video quiz to test your knowledge of nurses' pay


Newsletter

Related Articles

London Daily
0:00
0:00
Close
Tucker Carlson says Boris Johnson wants "a million dollars, in Bitcoin or cash, from Tucker Carlson to talk about Ukraine.
You Are So Beautiful
Russia is rebuilding capacity to destabilize European countries, new UK report warns
Postmodern Jukebox European Tour Version
EU Commission wants anti-drone defenses at Brussels HQ
An old French tune (by Georges Brassens) Pomplamoose ft. John Schroeder
Von der Leyen’s 2nd-term pitch: More military might, less climate talk
Sattahip Motor Show 20
Global Law Enforcement Dismantles Lockbit Ransomware Operation
SONATE AU CLAIR DE LUNE - Moonlight sonata
Prince William Urges End to Gaza Conflict
A kiss to build a dream on
UK court to hear Assange's final appeal against extradition to the US, where he faces charges related to his journalistic work—the publication of a classified video in 2010 that exposed US war crimes against humanity.
Wonderful Tonight - Eric Clapton (Boyce Avenue acoustic cover)
About 50-60% kids either chose to be YouTuber or influencer
Mean Blues
A viral video of Nationals MP Barnaby Joyce lying on a Canberra footpath is celebrated by his media mates.
La Chansonnette
European Countries React to Navalny's Death by Summoning Russian Diplomats
Pattaya Addicts
Israel has gone ‘beyond self-defence’ in Gaza, says Labour’s Streeting
Franz Liszt - Liebestraum - Love Dream
English farmers to be offered ‘largest ever’ grant scheme amid food security concerns
Dream a little dream of me
Cameron government knew Post Office ditched Horizon IT investigation
Unchained Melody sung like you've NEVER heard!
EU Calls for Immediate Ceasefire in Gaza Conflict
Dave Brubeck - Take Five
EU Vows To Hold Putin "Accountable" After Meeting Alexei Navalny's Wife
Édith Piaf - Non, Je Ne Regrette Rien (Sofie)
EU Launches Probe Into TikTok Over Child Protection Under Digital Content Law
Rondo Alla Turca
The EU Initiates Naval Mission to Defend Red Sea Trade Routes
Kiss of fire
EU and UK Announce Joint Effort on Migration
Tom Jones - I´ll Never Fall In Love Again 1967, 1989, 2001
Brazil's Lula Likens Gaza Operation to Holocaust, Israel Says "Red Line" Crossed
Israel Cachao López - Guajira Clásica
Ministers Confirm Proposal to Prohibit Mobile Phone Usage in English Schools
Edward Maya - Stereo Love (feat. Vika Jigulina) (Extended Mix)
Microsoft-backed OpenAI valued at $80bn after company completes deal
Strauss - Radetzky March - Karajan
‘Alexei would want to tell Russia not to give up fighting’
La vie en rose
Rwandan Footballer's Dismissal Sparks Concerns Over UK Asylum Plan
The Temptations - My Girl (Smokey Robinson Tribute) 2006 Kennedy Cent
Whisky Challenges China's Baijiu Market During New Year Celebrations
Orlando Cachaito Lopez Redencion
Avdiivka - Symbol Of Ukrainian Resistance Now In Control Of Russian Troops
Edith Piaf - NON, JE NE REGRETTE RIEN
Putin Critic Alexei Navalny's "Killers" Refusing To Hand Over Body, Say Allies
RADETZKY MARCH-2008-Wien, New Year Concert
"Historic Step": Zelensky Signs Security Pact With Germany
Only you (And you alone)
"Historic Step": Zelensky Signs Security Pact With Germany
Strangers In The Night
20 Tech Giants Sign Effort To Fight AI Election Interference Across Globe
Charles Aznavour - La Boheme
Joe Biden Accuses Putin of Causing Navalny's Death
Summer time
Russian opposition leader Alexey Navalny has died at the Arctic prison colony
Sting and Stevie Wonder - Fragile (from Sting's 60th birthday concert)
Tucker Carlson grocery shopping in Russia. This is so interesting.
Aux Champs Elysees
Julian Assange's Wife Warns of His Death if Extradited to US
Stand By Me - Ben E. King (Boyce Avenue acoustic cover)
‘A lot higher than we expected’: Russian arms production worries Europe’s war planners
La Mer (Beyond the Sea) – Avalon Jazz Band
Greece Legalizes Same-Sex Marriage and Adoption Rights
She
Hungarian Foreign Minister: Europeans will lose Europe, the Union's policy must change drastically
Nathalie Song by Enzo Petrachi Stjepan Hauser Cello
In Britain Homeowners are receiving CPO’s (Compulsory Purchase Orders) so their homes can be redistributed to migrants
Shape of My Heart - Sting (Boyce Avenue acoustic cover)
Microsoft says it caught hackers from China, Russia and Iran using its AI tools
Radiohead - Creep
Influencers Exploit X Platform for Profit Amidst Israel-Gaza Conflict
Quizás,Quizás,Quizás - Andrea Bocelli - Jennifer Lopez
Former Dutch PM And Wife Die "Together Hand In Hand" Via Duo Euthanasia
Perhaps, Perhaps, Perhaps - Multi-Couples
Media Giant Paramount Global, Which Owns CBS News, To Cut 800 Jobs
Pentatonix Havana
US Rejects Putin's Ceasefire Offer in Ukraine
Paula Cole - Autumn Leaves
"History is Watching": Biden Encourages US House to Approve Ukrainian War Aid
Oscar Benton Bensonhurst Blues
Wolf! Wolf!: Joe Biden Joins TikTok Despite Washington's Security Risk Warnings
OH NANANA vs ABUSADAMENTE
A Londoner has been arrested for expressing his Christian beliefs.
Nina Simone - ”I Put A Spell On You”. Vezi aici cum cântă Jeremy Ragsd
Chinese Women Favor AI Boyfriends Over Humans
NIGHTWISH - The Phantom Of The Opera
Kylie Minogue to receive Brits global icon award and will perform at ceremony
Motorshow 2016 Tanjay Negros Oriental
Greece must address role in migrant vessel disaster that killed 600: Amnesty
Monica Bellucci - Ti Amo
Russian Oligarch's Seized Yacht Costs More Than $7 Million A Year To Maintain: US
Michael Jackson - Billie Jean Milena The Voice France 2018
Bitcoin Reaches $50,000 for First Time in Over Two Years
Michael Buble (Help Me Make It Through The Night) feat Loren Allred
Memories Canon In D - Maroon 5 (Boyce Avenue piano acoustic cover)
Matteo Simoni - Marina
Maroon 5 - One More Night
Maroon 5 - Memories
Mark Knopfler - Brothers In Arms (Berlin 2007 Live)
Mark Knopfler & Emmylou Harris - Romeo And Juliet (Real Live Roadrunni
Marina, Marina - The LUCKY DUCKIES intimist live concert at Guimarães
Major Lazer & DJ Snake – Lean On Mauranne The Voice France 2016
Love Theme from Romeo and Juliet - Joslin - Henri Mancini, Nino Rota
LoLa & Hauser - Love Story
Linkin Park Jay-Z - Numb Encore (Live 8 2005)
Hallelujah Mennel Ibtissem, The Voice France Leonard Cohen
Leonard Cohen - Dance Me to the End of Love
Leonard Cohen & Natasha Rostova - Dance me to the end of love
La casa de papel - Bella Ciao
La Camisa Negra
L'italiano (Toto Cutugno) - The Gypsy Queens
Juanes - La Camisa Negra
Jonathan and Charlotte - Britain's Got Talent 2012 Live Semi Final - U
John Powell - Assassin's Tango
Joe Cocker - You Can Leave Your Hat On (LIVE in Dortmund)
Joe Cocker - Unchain My Heart 2002 Live
Joe Cocker - A Whiter Shade Of Pale
Jay Z & Alicia Keys - Empire State of Mind LIVE
Jason Mraz - Im Yours (live)
Jarrod Radnich - Bohemian Rhapsody - Virtuosic Piano Solo
James Blunt - You're Beautiful
James Blunt - You're Beautiful & Bonfire Heart (Live at The Nobel Peac)
If You Go Away - Helen Merrill & Stan Getz (Tribute to Virna Lisi)
I'LL BE MISSING YOU
I Say a Little Prayer
Hotel California ( Eagles ) 1994 Live
Historia de un amor - Luz Casal. Vezi interpretarea Biancăi Sumanariu
Here Comes The Sun - The Beatles (Boyce Avenue acoustic cover) on Spot
Heart - Stairway to Heaven Led Zeppelin - Kennedy Center Honors
HAVANA by Camila Cabello Zumba Pre Cooldown TML Crew Kramer Pastra
HAUSER and Señorita - I Will Always Love You
HAUSER - Waka Waka
HAUSER - Sway
HAUSER - Lambada
HAUSER - Historia de un Amor
HAUSER - Despacito
Great Pretender
Georgia May Foote & Giovanni Pernice Samba to 'Volare' - Strictly Come
Gary Moore - Still Got The Blues
GIPSY KINGS VOLARE Penelope Cruz
Fugees - Killing Me Softly With His Song
French Latino - Historia de un Amor
For A Few Dollars More The Danish National Symphony Orchestra (Live)
Flashdance • What a Feeling • Irene Cara
Filip Rudan - “Someone You Loved” Audicija 4 The Voice Hrvatska Sez
Eric Clapton - Wonderful Tonight
Enya - Only Time
Enrique Iglesias - Bailando (English Version) ft. Sean Paul
Enrique Iglesias - Bailamos
Elena Yerevan Historia de un amor
Ed Sheeran - Shape of You (Official Music Video)
Ed Sheeran - Perfect Symphony [with Andrea Bocelli]
Ed Sheeran - Perfect (Official Music Video)
Easy On Me - Adele (Boyce Avenue 90’s style piano acoustic cover) on S
ERA - Ameno
ELENA YEREVAN- Cancion Del Mariachi-IN STUDIO-2017 DPR
Dust In The Wind - Kansas (Boyce Avenue acoustic cover)
Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood
Despacito x Shape Of You - Pentatonix
Deep Purple - Child In Time - Live (1970)
David Foster When A Man Loves A WomanIt's A Mans World (SealMichael Bo
Dance me to the end of Love ( Pi-Air Design )
Coolio - Gangsta's Paradise (feat. L.V.) [Official Music Video]
Conquest Of Paradise (Vangelis), played on Böhm Emporio organ
Cielito Lindo
Chico & The Gypsies - Bamboleo
Canción Del Mariachi - Antonio Banderas, Los Lobos • Desperado
Camila Cabello - Havana (Audio) ft. Young Thug
Camila Cabello - Havana ( cover by J.Fla )
California Dreamin' - The Mamas & The Papas José Feliciano (Boyce Ave
Buster Benton - Money Is The Name of The Game
Hallelujah Pentatonix
Bobby McFerrin - Don't Worry Be Happy (Official Music Video)
Bob Dylan - Knockin' On Heaven's Door Emilia The Voice Kids France
Besame Mucho - Cesaria Evora
Ben E. King - Stand by Me Sax Cover Alexandra Ilieva Thomann
Bella Ciao
Bella Ciao - INSTRUMENTAL
Beautiful in White x Canon in D (Piano Cover by Riyandi Kusuma)
Bad Romance - Vintage 1920's Gatsby Style Lady Gaga Cover ft. Ariana Savalas & Sarah Reich(1)
BELLA CIAO 2020 - KARAOKE ITALIANO
BAMBOLEO - Gipsy Kings • Antonio Banderas, Katya Virshilas
BAILANDO (original)
Awesome Ukrainian yodeler - SOFIA SHKIDCHENKO (with English subtitles)
Avicii - The Nights
Atom - The Great Gig in the Sky
Aretha Franklin - (You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman (Official Ly
Antonio Banderas - Cancion del Mariachi (Desperado)
André Rieu - Zorba's Dance (Sirtaki)
André Rieu - Can't Help Falling In Love
André Rieu & Mirusia - Ave Maria
Andrew Reyes Elton John - Don't Let The Sun Go Down The Voice 2020 (
Andreas Kümmert Whiter Shade Of Pale The Voice of Germany 2013 Showd
And I Love You So
All About That Bass - Postmodern Jukebox European Tour Version
Alan Walker - Faded (Piano Cover)
Ain't No Sunshine -- Bill Withers (cover by Canen 12 y.o.)
African music
Adriana Vidović - “Creep” Audicija 4 The Voice Hrvatska Sezona 3
Adriana Vidović - “Believer” Nokaut 3 The Voice Hrvatska Sezona 3
A Fistful of Dollars - The Danish National Symphony Orchestra and Tuva
4 Beautiful Soundtracks Relaxing Piano [10min]
2CELLOS - Whole Lotta Love vs. Beethoven 5th Symphony [OFFICIAL VIDEO]
2CELLOS - Smooth Criminal (Live at Suntory Hall, Tokyo)
2CELLOS - Smells Like Teen Spirit [Live at Sydney Opera House]
2CELLOS - Despacito [OFFICIAL VIDEO]
13 Year Old Girl Playing Il Silenzio (The Silence) - André Rieu
094.All About That Bass
00 - SADNESS PART 1
(Ghost) Riders In the Sky (American Outlaws Live at Nassau Coliseum, 1
(Everything I Do) I Do It For You - Bryan Adams (Boyce Avenue ft. Conn
What a wonderful world
Moon river
×