Nurses are prepared to walk out of A&E and not provide treatment to cancer patients on strike days this month
- Up to 100,000 nurses to take industrial action on December 15 & December 20
- They warned to only commit to providing ‘life-preserving care’ on strike days
- The union is demanding the Government offer nurses a pay rise of 17.6 per cent
Nurses are set to walk out of A&E and will refuse to provide treatment to cancer patients for two days this month.
Up to 100,000 nurses will take industrial action on Thursday, December 15, and Tuesday, December 20, in a row over pay and staffing levels.
In a formal letter to NHS bosses, the Royal College of Nursing warned it would only commit to providing ‘life-preserving care’ on strike days.
Services which do not meet this criteria include hospital discharges, radiotherapy and maternity services.
Nurses are set to walk out of A&E and will refuse to provide treatment to cancer patients for two days this month
The union is demanding the Government offer nurses a pay rise of 17.6 per cent, which has been dismissed as ‘unaffordable’ by the Prime Minister.
The default position will be that nurses will walk out of A&Es unless trust bosses persuade them they cannot deliver a safe service without them.
Pat Cullen, general secretary and chief executive of the RCN, said: ‘Every nurse feels a heavy weight of responsibility to make this strike safe.
‘Patients are already at great risk and we will not add to it.’
Amanda Pritchard, the chief executive of NHS England, has warned that some operations and scans will be cancelled.
It comes as waiting lists are at a record high of 7.1million and as patients face life-threatening delays for an ambulance.
The three unions representing ambulance staff – Unite, Unison and GMB – have also voted in favour of industrial action.
It is understood they could coordinate strikes on December 20 for maximum impact.
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