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Deadlock over NHS pay putting patients in danger, chief nurses warn

Deadlock over NHS pay is putting patients in danger and risks hardening the position of unions, 10 chief nurses have warned.

Unions have warned that the government is making no moves towards resolving the strikes, with one general secretary accusing the government of lying about the state of negotiations.

In a joint statement shared with the Guardian, chief nurses from 10 leading hospitals known as the Shelford group highlighted their concern that patients’ health could suffer as a direct result of the increasing disruption the stoppages are causing.

Tens of thousands of nurses and ambulance workers in England will stage what will be the biggest strike in the NHS’s 75-year history on Monday.

In a plea to the government and health unions, but especially ministers, the 10 Shelford group chief nurses stress that they want both sides to end their standoff as a matter of urgency “because of the impact on the patients and communities we serve.

“Industrial action means appointments cancelled, diagnostics delayed [and] operations postponed. The longer industrial action lasts, the greater the potential for positions to harden, waits for patients to grow, and risks of harm to accumulate.”

This week will see just one day – Wednesday – when there are no NHS strikes. Nurses will strike again on Tuesday, physiotherapists will stage their second walkout on Thursday and ambulance personnel will stage a further stoppage on Friday.

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Source: The Guardian, 5 February 2023


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