Well being Secretary Steve Barclay has described the newest nurses’ strike as “outrageous”, with industrial motion set to finish at midnight on Monday (1 Could).
Royal Faculty of Nursing (RCN) members throughout greater than 100 NHS trusts are concerned in a 28-hour walkout, together with most cancers nurses who’re hanging for the primary time.
Mr Barclay condemned the newest walkout, saying: “I feel this strike is untimely and a disservice to the commerce unions who will probably be assembly on Tuesday.”
Mr Barclay will meet junior medical doctors’ leaders on Tuesday for opening talks after a 96-hour walkout over Easter.
RCN basic secretary Pat Cullen stated the measures have been put in place to maintain sufferers secure after issues have been raised over the affect of the strike on emergency providers.
Learn extra: LEO McKINSTRY says the facility of unions to harm us should be curbed
The union initially stated it will not comply with deregulation – the broad space of care the place employees are assured no matter industrial motion – however made some leeway on Friday in an obvious U-turn.
Nice Ormond Road Hospital is amongst organizations the place nurses have agreed to defund after expressing “severe issues” about affected person security.
Nevertheless, no exemption has been made for most cancers providers, that means workers on these wards will stroll out for the primary time within the union’s historical past. That is totally different from earlier assaults when most cancers care was defensible.
Ms Cullen instructed Sky Information’ Sophie Ridge on Sunday’s programme: “There are nationwide exemptions for actually acute pressing providers, for emergency departments, for intensive care models, for neonatal models, for pediatric intensive care models .
“We’ve got carried out the nationwide exemption, we’ve labored tirelessly with NHS England.”
Prof Pat Value, oncologist and co-founder of the Catchup With Most cancers marketing campaign, stated: “Regardless of the rights or wrongs of the economic motion, it’ll clearly have an effect on most cancers sufferers, which is extraordinarily unhappy for everybody.”
Ms Cullen additionally warned that industrial motion might final for years except the federal government adjustments its strategy.
She instructed the Telegraph: “If we’ve the identical strategy to talks subsequent yr, will we be grinding the wheel once more?
“Effectively, there is a sturdy chance, as a result of it seems it is the one manner for our nursing workers to make their voices heard.”
Ms Cullen is beneath strain to barter a brand new deal for members of her union after she rejected the federal government pay supply she was beneficial to just accept.
Transport Secretary Mark Harper urged the RCN – which initially sought a 19% rise – to just accept its members’ pay supply.
Mr Harper stated: “I might urge them to suppose once more and do what different commerce unions within the well being service have finished, which is what I feel is a good and cheap wage supply, which displays the worth that We do. Hardworking NHS workers.
Members of the NHS Employees Council, which represents 14 well being unions, will meet on Tuesday to substantiate the outcomes of their members’ ballots on the federal government’s pay deal.
The deal features a 5% enhance for 2023–24 and a one-off cost of no less than £1,655 for 2022–23, and is predicted to be supported by the GMB after the Employees Council agrees to just accept the supply.