Nurses in England, Wales and Northern Ireland will strike today in an ongoing dispute with the government about pay and concerns about patient safety.
Up to 100,000 members of the Royal College of Nursing (RCN) will take part after it balloted its members in October. It has said that low pay is the cause of chronic understaffing that is putting patients at risk and leaves NHS staff overworked.
It will be the second day of strikes in December, after an initial day of industrial action on 15 December, the RCN’s biggest in its history. It meant the cancellation of thousands of outpatient appointments and non-urgent operations.
More strikes have been threatened for January unless talks between union negotiators and the government takes place before Thursday, 48 hours after the strike on Tuesday.
The RCN’s general secretary and chief executive, Pat Cullen, said: “For many of us, this is our first time striking and our emotions are really mixed. The NHS is in crisis, the nursing profession can’t take any more, our loved ones are already suffering.
“It is not unreasonable to demand better. This is not something that can wait. We are committed to our patients and always will be.”
Source: The Guardian, 20 December 2022
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