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Health strike: RCN nurses in second day's strike

About 9,000 nurses across Northern Ireland have begun a 12-hour strike today in a second wave of protests over pay and staffing levels.

More than 2,000 appointments and procedures have been cancelled, including a number of elective caesarean operations.

The Health and Social Care Board said it expects "significant disruption"

Royal College of Nursing (RCN) Director Pat Cullen told BBC Radio Ulster's Good Morning Ulster programme that nurses felt "bullied" by health officials. Her comments followed a warning by the heads of Northern Ireland's health trusts on Tuesday that this week's strikes could push the system "beyond tipping point".

Valerie Thompson, a deputy ward sister at Londonderry's Altnagelvin Hospital, said concerns over safe staffing levels and pay parity had brought her to the picket line.

"We need to have the proper amount of staff to care for our patients, give them the respects, dignity, care they deserve," she said. "We are a loyal workforce; we get on with it, and rally around. But it is difficult. We miss breaks, go home late, staff are just exhausted."

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Source: BBC new, 8 January 2020


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