Fresh agony for cancer patients as Royal College of Nursing vows to slash services at more than 100 NHS providers to the ‘absolute minimum’ on strike days in row over pay
- Nurses in emergency departments, intensive care units, cancer care will walk
- Service will be reduced to the ‘absolute minimum’ from 6am on March 1
Cancer patients face a ‘fresh wave of anxiety’ after nurses threatened to withdraw their care for 48 hours in a row over pay, charities have warned.
The Royal College of Nursing (RCN) will escalate industrial action by reducing services to an ‘absolute minimum’ from 6am on March 1 if they fail to reach a deal with the Government.
For the first time, the walkout will involve nurses working in emergency departments, intensive care units, cancer care and other services that were previously exempted. Previous action also took place only during 12-hour day shifts.
Eve Byrne, director of advocacy at Macmillan Cancer Support, said: ‘This news will bring a fresh wave of anxiety to people living with cancer whose lives are already in the hands of a healthcare system afflicted by immense pressure, despite the best efforts of hardworking nurses and doctors.’
The Royal College of Nursing (RCN) will escalate industrial action by reducing services to an ‘absolute minimum’ from 6am on March 1
And Dr Ian Walker, director of policy and information at Cancer Research UK, hoped that ‘all necessary steps are taken to ensure that cancer patients don’t miss out on life-saving services, and that negotiations will be successful…’
Nurses will strike at 120 NHS employers in England from March 1. The RCN also hopes to bolster its picket lines by hiking its strike benefit rate from £50 to £80 per day, rising to £120 from the fourth day. The union is demanding an inflation-busting pay rise of up to 19.2 per cent.
It came as Unison said ambulance staff at South Central, East of England, West Midlands and East Midlands had voted to join in industrial action after re-ballots, as well as health workers at: NHS Blood and Transplant; Great Ormond Street Hospital; the Tavistock and Portman NHS Foundation Trust; Liverpool Women’s Hospital; and the Bridgewater Community Trust.
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