Nurses’ strikes over May bank holiday will present serious challenges, says NHS Providers

A 48-hour strike by nurses, which will include emergency care, will “present serious risks and challenges”, an NHS boss has said.

The Royal College of Nursing has rejected the pay offer for England while Unison workers accepted it.

Sir Julian Hartley, from NHS Providers, which represents NHS workers, said the May bank holiday strike would mark an “unprecedented level of action”.

The government said it was “based on a vote from the minority” of nurses.

The award on the table was a 5% pay rise for 2023-24. And there was an extra one-off lump sum of at least £1,655 to top up the past year’s salary. But on Friday, the RCN announced its members had rejected the offer by 54% to 46%.

The walkout from 20:00 BST on 30 April to 20:00 on 2 May will involve NHS nurses in emergency departments, intensive care, cancer and other wards.

Nurses have already walked out twice this year on 6 and 7 February and on 18 and 19 January – but on those dates there were exemptions so that nursing cover was…

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