NHS stuck in vicious circle of strikes, winter pressure, leaders warn

The National Health Service (NHS) has been caught in a vicious cycle of winter pressures and strikes, said NHS Confederation chief executive Matthew Taylor, as thousands of nurses walked away Wednesday over their salaries.

Speaking to the PA News Agency, Taylor said there was “no real prospect of a resolution” to the wages dispute and that the NHS “is facing a protracted war of attrition between the government and the trade unions that we I’ve been afraid,” he said.

Taylor urged Prime Minister Rishi Sunak to “give the NHS a fighting chance” and said “a stalemate in the wider public sector should not prevent an agreement in the NHS”.

Members of the Royal College of Nursing (RCN) from the UK’s 55 NHS Trusts are taking part in the two-day action on Wednesday and Thursday history.

Trade unions, which have been empowered to take action for six months, said further strikes took place on 6 and 7 February, killing 73 NHS trusts in England and all but one NHS employer in Wales. said to be involved. Payment contract for the year.

But the government has argued that further wage increases are “out of reach” and would further accelerate inflation, which fell slightly last month but remained in double digits (10.5%). .

Meanwhile, the GMB union announced that more than 10,000 paramedics, including paramedics, paramedic assistants and call handlers, were on fire on Feb. 6 (the same day nurses went on strike), and on Feb. 20, March. On the 6th, he said he would go on strike in March. 20.

In parliament, Labor leader Sir Kiel Sturmer, citing the example of a 26-year-old woman who “died while waiting for an ambulance”, said: “Stop making excuses, stop shifting blame and play political games. Stop, just tell us.” When will he sort out these delays and go back to the 18 minute wait? ”

Sunak responded by accusing Starmer of being a “living role model of playing the political game” and the government’s new bill empowering ministers to set minimum service levels during critical public service strikes. said it should support

Labor said the bill would effectively ban certain types of people from striking.

Epoch Times photo
Protesters march towards Downing Street in London during a nurses’ strike against a bill on minimum service levels during strikes, 18 January 2023. (Zac Goodwin/PA Media)

Pat Cullen, chief executive and general secretary of RCN, criticized the government’s proposal as “a far cry from reality,” adding that “patients and nurses will have access to minimal staffing levels any day of the week.” I can’t,” he said. Understaffed.

“Thus, the suggestion to keep staff to a minimum on days when labor disputes are taking place is far from reality, and in fact a complete affront to patients and nurses, which has never materialized. hmm,” she told ITV’s “Good Morning Britain” show.

“With 47,000 unfilled posts, we cannot do minimum staffing.

Asked if the “inflationary wage deal” would ultimately take money out of the NHS, as Health Secretary Steve Barclay put it, she told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: told to This NHS must continue to be respected and applied to all patients across the country.

The RCN initially called for a wage increase of 5% above inflation, but later said it would accept a 10% offer.

Berkeley, who visited Northwick Park Hospital, told the station that 10% was still “not affordable” and that the payroll agency was “the right way to balance affordability” in payroll deals. claimed.

“Well, 10% is not affordable. It’s an essential service that we need,” he said. The government is focused on reducing his NHS backlog.

The COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in record lengths of hospital treatment and emergency department wait times due to delayed or missed diagnoses and treatments.

In England alone, 6.95 million people were on the waiting list by the end of October, down slightly from 7.07 million the previous month. This was the highest since records began in 2007.

Including missing values, the number of cases reached 7.21 million, the highest ever.

Figures for Scotland and Wales show that their NHS trusts are also collapsing under the pressure of post-pandemic backlogs and flu and COVID cases.

PA Media contributed to this report.

Lily Zhou

Lily Zhou is an Ireland-based reporter focusing on UK news. Lily said she attended the Chinese edition of The Epoch Times for the first time before she focused on the UK in 2020.