Strikes 2023: Nursing staff at 55 NHS trusts in England begin two days of industrial action

Royal College of Nursing (RCN)  general secretary Pat Cullen said: “Nurses are striking because people are dying” as members went out on strike today
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Nursing staff across 55 NHS trusts in England begin two days of consecutive strike action today. The walk out is part of the RCN’s ’s on-going dispute over patient safety and members’ pay.

Members in England will be on strike today (18 January) and tomorrow (19 January). They are the latest days of industrial action to be carried out by a trade union in the UK this year.

The RCN had hoped that strike action in December, which saw members from 44 trusts walk out, would have “forced the UK government to open formal negotiations.” However the union has said no serious talks have taken place.

RCN general secretary & chief executive Pat Cullen said: “Today’s strike action by nursing staff is a modest escalation before a sharp increase in under three weeks from now. If a week is a long time for Rishi Sunak, three weeks is the time he needs to get this resolved.

“People aren’t dying because nurses are striking. Nurses are striking because people are dying. That is how severe things are in the NHS and it is time the Prime Minister led a fight for its future.

“Today’s record number of unfilled nurse jobs cannot be left to get worse. Pay nursing staff fairly to turn this around and give the public the care they deserve.”

EMBARGOED TO 0001 WEDNESDAY JANUARY 18 File photo dated 20/12/2022 of members of the Royal College of Nursing (RCN) on the picket line outside St Thomas' Hospital, central London. Continued strike action plus winter pressures are jeopardising the ability of the NHS to break out of a "vicious cycle", a health leader has said. Issue date: Wednesday January 18, 2023.EMBARGOED TO 0001 WEDNESDAY JANUARY 18 File photo dated 20/12/2022 of members of the Royal College of Nursing (RCN) on the picket line outside St Thomas' Hospital, central London. Continued strike action plus winter pressures are jeopardising the ability of the NHS to break out of a "vicious cycle", a health leader has said. Issue date: Wednesday January 18, 2023.
EMBARGOED TO 0001 WEDNESDAY JANUARY 18 File photo dated 20/12/2022 of members of the Royal College of Nursing (RCN) on the picket line outside St Thomas' Hospital, central London. Continued strike action plus winter pressures are jeopardising the ability of the NHS to break out of a "vicious cycle", a health leader has said. Issue date: Wednesday January 18, 2023.

The RCN added that if the strikes on January 18 and 19.fail to get the government to open talks then they will intensify the action. This includes escalating strike action on February 6 and 7  to include members at 73 NHS trusts in England and all but one NHS employer in Wales.