Nursing strikes set to hit every Sheffield hospital
Every Sheffield hospital is set to be affected by upcoming strikes after a ballot by the Royal College of Nursing members supported action in the city’s trusts.
Northern General, Royal Hallamshire, Weston Park, Jessop Wing and Sheffield Children’s are all expected to be affected later this year, in what RCN General Secretary & Chief Executive Pat Cullen has described as ‘a defining moment in our history.’
She said: “I want to thank every member who took part in, or supported, this ballot. You can be very proud. The results are strong and clear.
“Our fight will continue through strike action and beyond for as long as it takes to win justice for the nursing profession and our patients.
“Anger has become action – our members are saying enough is enough.”
The strike will be the first time UK-wide action is taken by RCN members in its 106-year history.
It comes after the government in England and Wales gave NHS staff an average of 4.75% rise this year – with the lowest paid getting more.
Matthew Taylor, chief executive of the NHS Confederation, which represents most NHS organisations, told BBC Breakfast: “We’re already coping with the gap that exists between the demand that is currently on the health service from the public.
“We’ve got to meet that demand, and we all know that we are heading into what already is a very difficult winter.
“Then we add industrial action into that and it’s going to be an extremely difficult job.
“The priority will be to try to minimise patient harm.”
Health workers in other unions, including ambulance staff, hospital porters and cleaners, are also voting on industrial action over pay.
A vote in favour of strike action does not mean every nurse is obligated to strike, although they will have the choice to do so.
However, the life-preserving care model would ensure emergency treatment and care still take place, determining the minimum staffing levels required to ensure that patient lives are not put at risk.
The government said it has contingency plans for dealing with any industrial action taken by nurses.