Welsh NHS Confederation responds to RCN announcement on strike action

Darren Hughes responds to the RCN’s announcement that nursing staff in the majority of NHS organisations in Wales have voted to strike.

9 November 2022

Responding to the RCN’s announcement that nursing staff in the majority of NHS employers across Wales have voted to strike, Darren Hughes, director of the Welsh NHS Confederation said:

“Health leaders know that this is not a decision that RCN members who voted for action will have taken lightly and recognise the frustration that health service staff are feeling at the moment, especially following a number of years of below inflation pay awards. Staff are being hit hard by this year’s unprecedented acceleration in the rate of inflation and the cost-of-living crisis, alongside rising demand for healthcare and increased pressure at work. NHS leaders recognise how hard staff work and the huge contribution, and sacrifices, they’ve made during the pandemic and we can’t thank them enough.

“It’s recognised that there are limits to how far these concerns can be addressed and we hope that the Welsh Government are able to work with the UK Government to secure the additional funding needed for a compromise to be reached, which benefits frontline staff and avoids disruption to patient care.

“Health leaders and frontline staff are now focused on understanding the specific implications of industrial action in their services and putting in place contingency plans to ensure that as a minimum, urgent, emergency and critical care services can continue on any potential 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.”