The Royal College of Nursing union has scheduled its largest walkout to date for February, criticising Rishi Sunak for his approach to salary negotiations. It comes as employees prepare to strike this coming week, as well as larger industrial action across the UK.
Union bosses have warned that if discussions with the government do not progress soon, nurses strikes involving twice as many workers will be called for in February.
If compensation negotiations are not resolved by the end of January, fresh walkouts will be planned, according to the Royal College of Nursing (RCN) union.
It would be the first time that all eligible members in England went on strike, making it the largest RCN action to date.
The organisation’s secretary, Pat Cullen, asserted that the public supported the nurses in their salary dispute with the government and criticised the prime minister for his “baffling” negotiating strategy.
The government has maintained that nurses have received a “fair” pay package and that it has “in full” adopted the independent pay review body’s recommendations.
Members are expected to strike on February 6 to coincide with the 10th anniversary of an inquiry into how nurse shortages caused patient death, according to the RCN.
Numerous patients at Stafford Hospital were neglected between 2005 and 2009, according to the Robert Francis inquiry, which was centred on the Mid Staffordshire NHS Trust.
Some elderly people were left lying in their own urine, unable to eat, drink or take essential medication.
Mr. Francis had given a warning that the NHS problem is, “Mid Staffs playing out on a national level, if not worse”.