Pay calls for from unions representing nurses are “neither affordable nor inexpensive”, the well being secretary has mentioned after their members voted to go on strike.
Steve Barclay mentioned he was saddened by the proposed industrial motion by the Royal Faculty of Nursing (RCN), which he mentioned was in “no person’s greatest pursuits”.
He has been proof against negotiating on pay after the union demanded a rise of at the least 15% in contrast with the £1,400 rise awarded earlier this 12 months.
Barclay mentioned the pay award “is a balanced enhance”, which is “truthful for nurses and the taxpayer”.
He wrote within the Sunday Telegraph: “But the RCN is demanding a large pay rise of 17.6%; a rise that’s merely neither affordable nor inexpensive. It’s about thrice the common settlement that thousands and thousands of hard-working folks, together with many Sunday Telegraph readers, working exterior the general public sector will sometimes obtain.
“Enormous settlements like these would turbocharge inflation after we are endeavouring to maintain it beneath management. It can have an hostile affect on folks’s incomes in the long term.”
Barclay wrote his door “will all the time be open” to the unions, after a “constructive” assembly with the RCN’s basic secretary, Pat Cullen, in Whitehall on Thursday. The talks have been mentioned to have centered on a “wide selection of points” together with affected person security and dealing circumstances.
He went on: “If the RCN does go forward with industrial motion, I’ll make it possible for emergency providers proceed to function for those who want them most, and sufferers ought to proceed to return ahead for emergency providers as regular. However it’s inevitable that any strike would imply some sufferers could have their therapy delayed, and I might urge the unions to think about the affect on those that depend on the NHS for his or her care.
“We face a tough winter for our entire nation and industrial motion is in no person’s greatest pursuits.”
The RCN introduced on Wednesday that its members within the majority of NHS employers throughout the UK have backed industrial motion.
The well being service will flip its consideration to treating emergency sufferers in a “life-preserving care mannequin”, with sources saying some hospitals on strike days could have staffing ranges just like these over Christmas.
A few of the most critical most cancers instances might nonetheless be handled, whereas pressing diagnostic procedures and assessments shall be staffed if they’re wanted to assemble information on probably life-threatening circumstances or those who might result in everlasting incapacity.
Industrial motion is predicted to be held earlier than the tip of the 12 months at a number of the UK’s largest hospitals, together with Man’s and St Thomas’ reverse parliament, the Royal Infirmary in Edinburgh, College hospital Wales, and Belfast’s Royal Victoria.
Different well being employee unions together with Unison and the GMB will announce the results of strike ballots earlier than the tip of the month amongst workers together with ambulance drivers and paramedics, hospital porters and cleaners.