A Nottinghamshire union rep has said Rishi Sunak is “unwilling to see to the needs of NHS nurses” as workers prepare to strike again.

The Royal College of Nursing is planning more strikes, beginning on 1 March and lasting 48 hours.

Nurses say the Prime Minister and the Cabinet are “unwilling to enter into negotiations over pay and staff safety issues”.

“COME ON RISHI, COME TO THE TABLE!”
CULLY HAYNES, RCN OFFICER

Strikes have taken place frequently since December 2022 as nurses strike for “fair pay” and “safe staffing levels”.

Cully Haynes, an RCN officer said: “Staffing levels are at an all-time low with less and less people looking to go into nurse work, meaning patients safety is at risk.”

She said the Covid 19 crisis put significant pressure on the NHS and its workers. Pleading with the Government, she said: “Come on Rishi, come to the table!”

Members of the public have expressed their concerns about the strikes, with one person stating: “The government need to pay them right as we are the ones who might suffer.”

The Health and Social Care Secretary Steve Barclay has said that despite huge pressure on public finances after the pandemic, the government gave nurses a “proportionate, balanced pay increase”.

This has created somewhat of a stalemate with these strikes putting increased pressure on patients and NHS trusts.

AUDIO: Cully Haynes explains the purpose of the strikes

These strikes are the third of their kind with workers still not seeing any progress in terms of negotiation with the government.

Seventy-three NHS trusts across the country are planning to strike on 1 March, making it the largest-scale nurse strike since February 1988.

Pat Sawyers, a nurse of 19 years, said he was “worried about the state of the NHS for the future” and for “patient safety”.