National Health Services across England is facing major disruption as nurses are on fresh strike—their biggest walkout so far—until Monday midnight over pay.
This is the first time that nurses working in A&E, intensive care and cancer services have also joined the 28-hours strike, which government described as a ‘disruptive’ action
Health Secretary Steve Barclay called the 28-hour strike “premature” and “disrespectful” to other unions.
The strike is going to affect the staffing levels in some areas of the country, warned NHS England said it will be “exceptionally low, lower than on previous strike days”.
Pat Cullen, leader of The Royal College of Nursing said that exemptions would be made for critical care including nursing staff working in intensive care units, emergency departments, paediatric intensive care, neonatal units, and other acute and critical services, reported BBC.
“Our nursing staff will be back in this morning, whilst on strike, continuing to care for their patients,” she told BBC Breakfast.
On Tuesday, number of health unions, ministers and NHS heads are set to hold a crucial meeting to discuss government’s 5% pay offer.
Earlier the united members rejected government’s pay offer and walked out. Pointing out at the double digit inflation rate, the union said that government’s pay offer is a “substantial real-terms pay cut” for NHS workers.
The rescheduled appointments due to Monday strike are set to hit half a million next week, said union.