When is the next nurses’ strike? Health Secretary Steve Barclay could take legal action

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  • April 25, 2023
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The union had said nurses could strike until Christmas if they cannot reach a deal with the Government.

Union members rejected a pay deal on Friday (April 14), sparking concerns that more strikes could be on the way. In the ballot, 61 per cent of eligible members voted, with 54 per cent rejecting the pay deal.

Royal College of Nursing (RCN) leader Pat Cullen said that, should a further ballot in May be successful, “it will mean further strike action right up until Christmas”.

Ms Cullen called for the Government to improve its pay offer to avoid further strikes.

However, Mr Barclay has written to Ms Cullen, saying the union’s current strike mandate runs out at midnight on May 1.

“I therefore regretfully provided notice of my intent to pursue legal action with a view to protecting patients, NHS workers and RCN members whilst continuing to seek a way to resolve this through official channels,” he said.

At the time of writing, the strikes were set to go ahead and this is all we know about them.

When are the next nurses’ strikes?

Nurses are set to walk out from 8pm on Sunday, April 30 until 8pm on Tuesday, May 2.

NHS nurses in emergency departments, intensive care, and cancer wards will strike for the first time.

What are officials saying about the nurses’ strikes?

In a letter to Mr Barclay, Ms Cullen said: “What has been offered to date is simply not enough. The Government needs to increase what has already been offered and we will be highly critical of any move to reduce it.

“Until there is a significantly improved offer, we are forced back to the picket line. Meetings alone are not sufficient to prevent strike action and I will require an improved offer as soon as possible. In February, you opened negotiations directly with me and I urge you to do the same now.

“After a historic vote to strike, our members expect a historic pay award.”

Mr Barclay has called on the RCN to accept the Government’s pay offer so the NHS can “get back to focusing on patients”.

In an opinion piece for the Sun, he warned that fresh nurses’ strikes would have a “deeply concerning” impact on emergency services and cancer care.

And in January, he said he was “disappointed that patients face disruption again”.

Which London hospitals will be affected by the nurses’ strikes?

The full list is available on our story here.