OPINION - Talking Point: Do you support the Royal College of Nurses’ strike?

Many nurses are considering leaving the profession, according to a new survey from the RCN (PA Wire)
Many nurses are considering leaving the profession, according to a new survey from the RCN (PA Wire)

The Royal College of Nursing is demanding a pay rise of five per cent above inflation, saying the Government’s offer of £1,400 is insufficient to cope with the cost-of-living crisis.

Jodie Elliott, a West London nurse, explained her position on how things have got this far: “I never wanted to get to the point of striking, but we’re at breaking point and it feels like this is our last resort.

“The most experienced frontline nurses are now around £10,000 a year worse off in real terms than in 2008, so we’re essentially working the equivalent of one day a week for free. We’re also dangerously understaffed, to the point where I worry it’s risking patient safety. That’s why we’re striking: not to risk patient safety, but to save it.”

Health and Social Care Secretary Steve Barclay defended the Government’s position: “These are challenging times, which is why we accepted the recommendations of the independent NHS Pay Review Body in full and have given over one million NHS workers a pay rise of at least £1,400 this year. This is on top of a three per cent pay increase last year, when public-sector pay was frozen and wider government support with the cost of living.”

Industrial action is expected to begin before the end of this year.

Do you support the nurses’ strike? Let us know in the comments below or on our Instagram for the chance to be featured on the ES website.

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