This site is intended for healthcare professionals only

Nurses should work as usual, as doctors strike

Written by: | Published:

Nurses should attend work as usual on 21 June, despite planned industrial action by doctors on this date, the RCN has said.

The protest, against the government's proposed changes to public sector pensions, may involve GPs cancelling routine appointments and seeing only 'urgent' cases. Non-emergency secondary care services may also be disrupted.

RCN senior employment relations advisor, Gerry O'Dwyer said nurses across all sectors should continue to provide services as normal.

'Any complaints from patients or clients concerning services provided on the 21 June, should be channelled through normal hospital or general practice procedures,' he explained.

A total of 78 per cent of GPs who participated in the BMA's ballot on industrial action called for action short of a strike, with 63 per cent prepared to take part in full strike action.

By contrast, the RCN opted not to recommend industrial action due to poor participation in its February ballot about pension reforms; 62 per cent of nurses voted against changes, but turnout was only 16 per cent.

Health secretary Andrew Lansley warned doctors' industrial action would 'harm patients', a view echoed by some primary care nurses.

Speaking to IN's sister magazine Practice Nursing, West Midlands nurse practitioner Beverley Bostock-Cox said: 'It is a sad state of affairs on every level. Strike action that hits the most vulnerable members of society is a serious business.'

In a letter to BMA Council chair Dr Hamish Meldrum, Mr Lansley said there was 'no chance' of pension negotiations being reopened. Dr Meldrum (pictured) responded by saying the BMA had made it clear it would prefer 'meaningful negotiations' with government to taking industrial action.

What do you think? Leave a comment below or tweet your views to @IndyNurseMag

This material is protected by MA Healthcare Ltd copyright.
See Terms and Conditions.



Please view our Terms and Conditions before leaving a comment.

Change the CAPTCHA codeSpeak the CAPTCHA code

Most read articles from Practice Nursing Journal

Practice Nursing Journal latest issue and most read articles.

Click here to read a selection of free to access articles from Practice Nursing Journal


Sign up to the newsletter


Independent Nurse is the professional resource for primary care and community nurses, providing clinical articles for practice nurses and prescribers.


Subscribe to our newsletter and stay up to date with the latest nursing news.

Stay Connected

Stay social with Independent Nurse by following us on Twitter, liking us on Facebook or connecting on LinkedIn.


Need access to some of our older articles? You can view our archive, or alternatively contact us.

Contact Us

MA Healthcare Ltd.
St Jude's Church, Dulwich Road
London, SE24 0PB

Tel: +44 (0)20 7738 5454
Registered in England and Wales No. 01878373

Meet the team


Find out how to contribute to Independent Nurse here.