NHS nurse strike threaten Christmas chaos: Fears for cancer appointments and elderly patients
Fears have grown for cancer appointments and elderly patients this winter as nurses are set to strike for two days before Christmas in a row over pay.
The Royal College of Nursing announced the first in a series of walk outs over pay will take place on Thursday 15 and Tuesday 20 December.
Health insiders have warned the disruption will cost lives, with a 'bank holiday service' causing delays and cancellations to everything from routine operations to chemotherapy.
It comes as NHS bosses warned the health service faces 'its most challenging winter ever' with the 'tripledemic' of flu, Covid and record demand on urgent and emergency services.
Health Secretary Steve Barclay said that he 'deeply regrets' the walkouts but added that the demands a 19 per cent pay rise are simply 'not affordable'.
Ministers have offered a pay rise of at least 1,400 for 2022-23, the equivalent of between a 4 per cent and 5 per cent rise, and honours in full the recommendations of the NHS Pay Review.
But the RCN has accused the Government of refusing to get round the negotiating table, forcing them into industrial action.
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