UK well being secretary says nurses’ pay calls for not ‘affordable or inexpensive’ | Nursing

Pay calls for from unions representing nurses are “neither affordable nor inexpensive”, the well being secretary has stated after their members voted to go on strike.

Steve Barclay stated he was saddened by the proposed industrial motion by the Royal Faculty of Nursing (RCN), which he stated was in “no person’s finest pursuits”.

He has been proof against negotiating on pay after the union demanded a rise of not less than 15% in contrast with the £1,400 rise awarded earlier this 12 months.

Barclay stated the pay award “is a balanced enhance”, which is “honest 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 individuals, together with many Sunday Telegraph readers, working outdoors the general public sector will sometimes obtain.

“Large settlements like these would turbocharge inflation once we are endeavouring to maintain it beneath management. It is going to have an opposed impression on individuals’s incomes in the long term.”

Barclay wrote his door “will at all times be open” to the unions, after a “constructive” assembly with the RCN’s normal secretary, Pat Cullen, in Whitehall on Thursday. The talks have been stated to have targeted on a “big 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 ensure that emergency providers proceed to function for people 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 remedy delayed, and I’d urge the unions to think about the impression 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 finest 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 much like these over Christmas.

Among the most critical most cancers circumstances may nonetheless be handled, whereas pressing diagnostic procedures and assessments might be staffed if they’re wanted to collect knowledge on probably life-threatening circumstances or people who may result in everlasting incapacity.

Industrial motion is predicted to be held earlier than the tip of the 12 months at among 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.