NHS Confederation responds to RCN announcement on strike action

Matthew Taylor responds to the RCN announcement that nursing staff in the majority of NHS employers across the UK have voted to strike.

9 November 2022

Responding to the RCN's announcement that nursing staff in the majority of NHS employers across the UK have voted to strike, Matthew Taylor, chief executive of the NHS Confederation said:

“Health leaders know that this is not a decision that voting nurses will have taken lightly.

“Years of supressed pay alongside 47,000 vacancies across England and rising demand for healthcare have led to many feeling demoralised and that they are at the end of the road.

“The entire NHS is being hit hard by rising inflation and the cost-of-living crisis and with other trade unions also considering industrial action for their members, this feeling of despair is felt from other health professions and the wider public sector too.

“We hope that the negotiating parties can reach a compromise that will both minimise disruption to patient care and benefit frontline staff. The last thing anyone wants is a ‘war of attrition’ playing out over many months.

“Health leaders are now focused on understanding the specific implications of industrial action in their services and putting in place to ensure that as a minimum, urgent, emergency and critical care services can continue on any strike days. If any changes need to be made to non-urgent care services, such as check-ups and elective care, they will ensure this is communicated in advance to patients."