A nursing union representing hundreds of thousands of nurses in the UK has voted to hold the first nationwide strike in its 106-year history.

The Royal College of Nursing (RCN) said the strike will affect the majority of NHS employers in the UK as nurses take action against pay levels and patient safety concerns.

The union said that many of the biggest hospitals in England would see strike action but others “narrowly missed” the legal turnout thresholds required for action.

All NHS employers in Northern Ireland and Scotland would be included and all bar one in Wales met the threshold, they added.

RCN general secretary and chief executive Pat Cullen said: “Anger has become action – our members are saying enough is enough.
“The voice of nursing in the UK is strong and I will make sure it is heard. Our members will no longer tolerate a financial knife edge at home and a raw deal at work.
“Ministers must look in the mirror and ask how long they will put nursing staff through this.
“While we plan our strike action, next week’s budget is the UK government’s opportunity to signal a new direction with serious investment.

Across the country, politicians have the power to stop this now and at any point.
“This action will be as much for patients as it is for nurses.
“Standards are falling too low and we have strong public backing for our campaign to raise them. This winter, we are asking the public to show nursing staff you are with us.”

The union had urged more than 300,000 of its members to vote for industrial action over pay in the first statutory ballot on industrial action across the UK in the 106-year history of the Royal College of Nursing.

It had called for its members to receive a pay rise of 5% above the RPI inflation rate, which currently stands at above 12%.
This request has not been met by any UK nation.

Recent analysis showed an experienced nurse’s salary has fallen by 20% in real terms since 2010, the RCN said, adding that nurses are working the equivalent of one day a week for nothing.

‘Economically challenging times’ – health minister’s response

Health and Social Care Secretary Steve Barclay said the government “hugely values the work that nurses do”, and had already committed to raising their wages in line with recommendations from the independent pay review body.

He also told reporters they “recognised the contribution of nurses” last year, giving them a pay rise of 3% more than most other public sector workers.

But, Mr Barclay added: “We also need to recognise that these are economically challenging times. We need a strong economy in order to pay for a strong health care system and a demand of 17% – three times what most non-public sector workers will receive – is out of step with the economic circumstances that we face.”
The health secretary said his “door is open” for talks with the RCN and he looked forward to meeting them “in the days ahead”.

‘A strike across the NHS this winter isn’t inevitable’

Wes Streeting MP, Labour’s shadow health secretary, said: “There were no strikes in the NHS during 13 years when Labour was last in government.
“If we were in office today, we would be talking with the RCN and doing everything we can to prevent these strikes going ahead.”
The British Medical Association, which represents doctors, offered “support and solidarity” to nurses, with deputy chair Dr Emma Runswick adding: “It is still within the government’s gift to pay healthcare staff fairly for the vital, often lifesaving work that they do.
“We urge government to listen to the concerns of frontline health staff and deliver the investment that the NHS and its workforce so desperately need.”

Meanwhile, health workers in other unions, including ambulance staff, hospital porters and cleaners, are also voting on industrial action over pay.

UNISON head of health Sara Gorton said: “A strike across the NHS this winter isn’t inevitable.
“Unions want to work with ministers to solve the NHS staffing crisis and its impact on patient care. But that must start with another pay rise for health workers. Otherwise, delays and waits for patients won’t reduce.”

The NHS Trusts impacted:


East Midlands:

East Midlands Ambulance Service NHS Trust
NHS Derby and Derbyshire ICB (Joined Up Care Derbyshire)
NHS Nottingham and Nottinghamshire ICB
Derbyshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust
Northamptonshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust
Derbyshire Community Health Services NHS Foundation Trust
Nottinghamshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust
Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust
Kettering General Hospital NHS Foundation Trust


Cambridgeshire and Peterborough NHS Foundation Trust
Norfolk and Norwich University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
Cambridge University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust
Royal Papworth Hospital NHS Foundation Trust
East Suffolk and North Essex NHS Foundation Trust
Norfolk Community Health and Care NHS Trust
Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust
Cambridgeshire Community Services NHS Trust
Hertfordshire Community NHS Trust
West Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust
NHS Hertfordshire and West Essex ICB
NHS Mid and South Essex ICB
NHS Norfolk and Waveney ICB
NHS Suffolk and North East Essex ICB


Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust
Guys and St Thomas NHS Foundation Trust
Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children NHS Foundation Trust
Hounslow and Richmond Community Healthcare NHS Trust
St George’s University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
Kings College Hospital NHS Foundation Trust
Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust
Tavistock and Portman NHS Foundation Trust
University College London Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
NHS North Central London ICB
NHS South West London ICB
NHS Resolution

North West:

Mersey Care NHS Foundation Trust
Tameside and Glossop Integrated Care NHS Foundation Trust
Liverpool Heart and Chest Hospital NHS Found Trust
Lancashire Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
The Clatterbridge Cancer Centre NHS Found Trust
The Christie NHS Foundation Trust
Wrightington Wigan and Leigh NHS Foundation Trust
Countess of Chester Hospital NHS Foundation Trust
North West Ambulance Service NHS Trust
Liverpool University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
Mid Cheshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
Bridgewater Community Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust
Wirral Community Health and Care NHS Foundation Trust
Midlands and Lancashire CSU
Wirral University Teaching Hospital NHS Found Trust
Liverpool Women’s NHS Foundation Trust
Central Cheshire Integrated Care Partnership
St Helens and Knowsley Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust
Alder Hey Children’s NHS Foundation Trust
The Walton Centre NHS Foundation Trust
Health Education England
NHS Cheshire and Merseyside ICB
NHS Lancashire and South Cumbria ICB
Cheshire and Wirral Partnership NHS Foundation Trust


North East Ambulance Service NHS Trust
University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay NHS Foundation Trust
Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust
County Durham and Darlington NHS Foundation Trust
Gateshead Health NHS Foundation Trust
The Newcastle Upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
South Tees Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
North of England CSU (NECS)

South East: ???????

Kent Community Health NHS Foundation Trust
East Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust
University Hospitals Sussex NHS Foundation Trust
South East Coast Ambulance Service
Sussex Community NHS Foundation Trust
Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust
Queen Victoria Hospital NHS Foundation Trust
NHS Kent and Medway ICB
NHS Surrey Heartlands ICB
Southern Health NHS Foundation Trust
Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
Portsmouth Hospitals NHS Trust
University Hospital Southampton NHS Foundation Trust
South Central Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust
Solent NHS Trust
Royal Berkshire NHS Foundation Trust
Oxford Health NHS Foundation Trust

South West: ???????

Cornwall Partnership NHS Foundation Trust
Devon Partnership NHS Trust
South Western Ambulance Service NHS Found Trust
Dorset Healthcare University NHS Foundation Trust
Gloucestershire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
North Bristol NHS Trust
Torbay and South Devon NHS Foundation Trust
University Hospitals Plymouth NHS Trust
University Hospitals Bristol and Weston NHS Foundation Trust
Dorset County Hospital NHS Foundation Trust
NHS Blood and Transplant (NHSBT)
Gloucestershire Health and Care NHS Foundation Trust
Royal Devon University Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust
Avon and Wiltshire Mental Health Partnership NHS Trust
Great Western Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
Salisbury NHS Foundation Trust
University Hospitals Dorset NHS Foundation Trust
Somerset NHS Foundation Trust
Royal Cornwall Hospitals NHS Trust
Royal United Hospitals Bath NHS Foundation Trust
NHS Bath, North East Somerset, Swindon and Wiltshire ICB (BSW Together)
NHS Devon ICB (One Devon)
NHS Dorset ICB (Our Dorset)
NHS Gloucestershire ICB (One Gloucestershire)

West Midlands: ?

??????Midlands Partnership NHS Foundation Trust
Herefordshire and Worcestershire Health and Care NHS Trust
The Royal Orthopaedic Hospital NHS Foundation Trust
Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust
Shropshire Community Health NHS Trust
University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust
Birmingham Women’s and Children’s NHS Foundation Trust
Robert Jones and Agnes Hunt Orthopaedic Hospital NHS Foundation Trust
Dudley Integrated Health and Care NHS Trust
NHS Birmingham and Solihull ICB (BSol ICB)
NHS Black Country ICB

Yorkshire and The Humber:

???????Sheffield Health and Social Care NHS Foundation Trust
Barnsley Hospital NHS Foundation Trust
York and Scarborough Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
Leeds Community Healthcare NHS Trust
Bradford Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
Harrogate and District NHS Foundation Trust
The Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust
NHS England
Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
Sheffield Children’s NHS Foundation Trust
NHS West Yorkshire ICB


Cardiff and Vale University Health Board
Powys Teaching Local Health Board
Welsh Ambulance Services NHS Trust Headquarters
Hywel Dda University Health Board
Swansea Bay University Health Board
Cwm Taf Morgannwg University Health Board
Betsi Cadwaladr University Local Health Board
Velindre NHS Trust
Public Health Wales
Health Education and Improvement Wales Health Authority
NHS Wales Shared Services Partnership
Digital Health and Care Wales


???????NHS Borders
NHS Education For Scotland
NHS Fife
NHS National Services Scotland
NHS Shetland
NHS Western Isles
NHS Dumfries and Galloway
NHS Orkney
NHS Golden Jubilee
NHS 24
The State Hospitals Board for Scotland
NHS Grampian
NHS Tayside
NHS Ayrshire and Arran
The Highland Council
Healthcare Improvement Scotland
Public Health Scotland
NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde
Scottish Ambulance Service
NHS Lothian
NHS Lanarkshire
NHS Highland
NHS Forth Valley

Northern Ireland:
??????Northern Ireland Practice and Education Council
Southern Health and Social Care Trust
Western Health and Social Care Trust
Belfast Health and Social Care Trust
Business Services Organisation
Regulation & Quality Improvement Authority
Northern Ireland Blood Transfusion Service
Public Health Agency
Northern Health and Social Care Trust
South Eastern Health and Social Care Trust
Northern Ireland Ambulance Service

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