Health Care

Nurses to stage 'summer of protests' over pay

Nurses vote in support of strike ballot over low pay

More than 50,000 of the RCN's 270,000 members took part in the poll. "We will stand up for our schools and hospitals and give hard-working nurses, teachers and police the pay rise they deserve".

The chair of the RCN's elected council has chose to launch a "summer of protest activity" instead, but has confirmed that it is readying to ballot its members later this year without a further poll if the pay policy isn't dropped.

The Royal College of Nursing says that 40,000 unfilled posts in the NHS in England have left staff under "enormous" pressure. We're demanding answers on behalf of our patients as well as nursing staff.

Janet Davies, general secretary of the RCN, said the Government could be accused of offering "nursing on the cheap" in place of recruiting and retaining registered and experienced nurses. A series of summer protest events is likely, which could lead to a call for full industrial action if more RCN members come on board.

'The current conditions in the NHS are driving people out of the profession and putting new people off entering it, ' she added.

"Our argument is not with patients - this is about ensuring that they get the safe and effective care they need", said Davies.

Meanwhile, a separate report from the Royal College of Nursing (RCN) warned that cuts to services in England are putting children's health at risk.

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"This week, our members have spoken passionately about their own personal experiences, working both with insufficient resources to do their job safely and effectively, and insufficient resources to live their lives well, pay their bills and care for their families, or even travel to work to do the job they love so much".

"Continuing pay restraint is a disastrous, unsustainable policy for maternity services and the NHS".

NHS workers are being treated "like dirt" by the Government, Liberal Democrat leader Tim Farron is claiming.

Dr Mark Porter, British Medical Association council chair, said: "Year after year of real-terms pay cuts have had a damaging impact on the morale of frontline NHS staff". Living standards are falling, prices are rising and nurses are going to food banks, but Theresa May doesn't care.

"We've prioritised increasing the number of nurses to help those already working hard - with 12,100 more on our wards since 2010".

Jon Skewes, director of policy at the Royal College of Midwives, whose members went on strike in 2014 for the first time in its history, said: "We want to use the opportunity of the General Election to influence the Government to address the staffing crisis in the NHS and work to retain existing NHS staff in the service".