'Something's got to give': Shelagh Fogarty warns of consequences if NHS 'state of play' isn't improved

10 November 2022, 14:42

Shelagh Fogarty says 'something has got to give' as NHS nurses endure 'disastrous' conditions

By Abbie Reynolds

As RCN ballot results show strong support for strike action Shelagh Fogarty sides with nurses wanting to strike saying, "You can't expect them to work miracle after miracle...something's got to give and sometimes it is a person's life which is why the nurses are going on strike".

A ballot among more than 300,000 members of the Royal College of Nursing (RCN) has shown that the majority of hospitals across the UK are in favour of going on strike at the end of the year, RCN boss Pat Cullen has said that “anger has become action – our members are saying enough is enough".

On LBC today Shelagh Fogarty read out a text message from Annie in Hemel Hampstead who is amongst the pro-strike nurses.

The text read: "Why do I not deserve a wage in line with inflation? Nurses are amongst the most vulnerable workers in our society. One mistake even after an unblemished character and career could result in the loss of everything I have worked for.

"When I literally have people's lives in my hands on a daily basis why do I not get paid or deserve to be paid [for] the amount of responsibility on my shoulders?"

The message continued: "I don't expect nor do I want to be a millionaire but I do believe I deserve to be paid fairly for the work that I do."

Shelagh reacted to the message, saying: "I don't think any of us can disagree with that, can we? It is a question of whether the government will successfully reach a conclusion with the RCN. I can't see the nurses losing this one."

It has since been said that the UK's Health Secretary Steve Barclay has had some positive conversations with union leaders to prevent the forwarned strikes.

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

"It may not be that they get the thing they have asked for in totality but I can't see the government, given the state of play at the moment in the NHS even before any strike action, it's disastrous at the moment," Shelagh added.

She warned of the dangers that could happen if action isn't taken against NHS working standards: "Whatever miracles are being performed, they won't be preventing deaths - you just watch the spike in deaths when the retrospective 'it's too late now' counting is done.

"You can't expect them to work miracle after miracle after miracle...every day, something's got to give and sometimes it is a person's life which is why the nurses are going on strike."

READ MORE: Hundreds of thousands of nurses to go on strike at the end of the year over pay dispute

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