Saving the NHS: why nursing strikes will continue

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In January thousands of nurses in the NHS staged a two-day strike across England over pay, as members of the RCN continue their historic walkouts.

But what were the real reasons for nursing staff voting for industrial action?

In the latest episode of the Nursing Standard podcast we hear from nurses on the picket lines in South Yorkshire, Derbyshire, Brighton and London about their personal reasons for taking part in the strikes on 18 and 19 of January 2023.

Speaking to reporters nurses from all aspects of nursing, staff told us their chief concern was patient safety and the future of the NHS.

While some nurses spoke of struggling to pay their bills, some student nurses explained that completing their placement proficiencies was almost impossible, as the staff shortages meant learning and university paperwork is being side-lined.

Speaking on the picket line alongside nurses, the RCN’s general secretary Pat Cullen told the podcast that nurses had been ‘pushed onto picket lines by this government’ and while the stalemate remained, the biggest NHS strike would go ahead in February with all mandated members of the union in England, Wales and Northern Ireland striking at the same time.

She said: ‘We need to get round a table and start to work together to resolve the 2022/23 pay dispute, and we need to do that very quickly before we move into another set of strikes.’

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