Striking nurses’ pay and conditions responsibility of Welsh Govt, say Tories
Nursing pay and conditions in Wales are the responsibility of the Welsh Government, Welsh Tories have said as nursing staff across Wales and the UK are to go on strike.
The Royal College of Nursing (RCN) said industrial action will take place in the NHS trusts or health boards – including six in Wales other than Aneurin Bevan – that have met the legal requirements.
This is the first statutory ballot on industrial action across the UK in the 106-year history of the RCN.
Industrial action is expected to begin before the end of this year and the RCN’s mandate to organise strikes runs until early May 2023, six months after members finished voting.
Welsh Ambulance Service NHS Trust Headquarters, Velindre NHS Trust, Public Health Wales, NHS Shared Services Partnership, and Digital Health and Care Wales have also met the required threshold for strike action.
Welsh Conservative Shadow Health Minister Russell George MS said: “It is highly regrettable that nurses have decided to go on strike, with all the implications for patients who depend on NHS services, but let there be no doubt that nursing pay and conditions are the responsibility of the Labour Government in Cardiff Bay.
“This will only compound the problems facing the UK’s worst-run NHS as, under Labour, Wales has the longest treatment waiting lists, A&E waiting times, and ambulance response times in the country.
“I would stress that we cannot make the NHS permanently dependent on agency nurses but, in Labour-run Wales, it is already the case, with nurse vacancies going up by a thousand in just the last year, with £134m spent on agency workers.
“I hope the Minister finally engages with the Royal College of Nursing to bring this dispute to an end as swiftly as possible – it is disgraceful that she has avoided doing this so far to the detriment of patients and staff across Wales.”
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