‘Patients are already suffering’: Shelagh Fogarty counters arguments against nurse strike

10 November 2022, 15:04

'Patients are already suffering'

By Phoebe Dampare Osei

Shelagh Fogarty says "patients are already suffering" due to "pressures" in the NHS in response to people who are against nurse strikes.

Shelagh Fogarty responded to criticism that nurses shouldn’t strike because patients will suffer, pointing out that “patients are already suffering”.

“The whole picture is kind of as predicted, isn’t it, given the situation that an awful lot of people are in on pay and conditions”, she began.

“I stress conditions, particularly in the case of the nurses, because I get the panic and the worry about patient safety and delivery of care from nurses.

“Of course, it’s going to affect them, of course, it’s going to affect that. But patients are already suffering because of the pressures in the NHS”, she said.

“The nurses and other health staff can only fill those gaps to a degree. They are only individually one person each.”

Her comments come after the news that Brits will face a triple wave of winter walkouts, with train drivers, civil servants and nurses voting to strike.

Members of the Royal College of Nursing (RCN) conducted its first nationwide vote in the 106 years of its existence. It represents nearly half a million nurses, midwives and healthcare assistants - 300,000 of which were balloted on whether the strike action should go ahead.

The walkout is expected to start before Christmas and could continue into May next year- up to six months of striking.

Read more: Health Secretary hails 'constructive' talks with nursing union in eleventh hour bid to halt strikes which could last six months

Shelagh went on: “Even if conditions were great - and we know they’re not in the NHS, latest figures about people waiting just paints an even sorrier picture than the last of figures - even if nurses had a pay deal that satisfied them they still don’t have enough colleagues to be able to do their jobs without exhausting themselves in the process.

“The picture is already one of danger to patients and danger and distress to staff, so to say they can’t do that because patients will suffer - patients are already suffering”, she said.

“What will it take to get the UK back on its feet?”, Shelagh wondered.

People were quick to respond on Twitter.

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