Tens of thousands of nurses and ambulance workers have walked out in protest in what is thought to be the biggest strike in the history of the NHS.
NHS workers are taking strike action every day this week bar Wednesday, as staff across the health service highlight how their section of the NHS has been ravaged by spending cuts and difficulties recruiting staff after a decade of real-terms pay cuts and poor conditions.
Members of the Royal College of Nursing in a third of England’s NHS trusts have gone on strike, joined by ambulance workers in unions GMB and Unite.
Negotiations between the government and the RCN have continued to falter, with the RCN seeking a pay rise of 5 per cent above inflation – most recently measured at 10.5 per cent – to make up for what it calls a decade of real-terms pay cuts.
Nurses will continue into their second day of strike action on Tuesday, joined by midwives and physiotherapists in Wales. On Thursday, physiotherapists across England are set to join the action, followed by ambulance staff with Unison on Friday.
“Nurses and ambulance staff are striking today to fight for fair pay and for safe staffing levels. We are fighting for the NHS,” tweeted clinical nurse Harry Eccles.