Nursing strike enters second day as NHS braces for biggest ever walkout

Health leaders have begun to make contingency plans for the possibility of the biggest walkout in the history of the NHS as the pay dispute between staff and the Government

shows no signs of reaching a resolution. NHS experts expressed “huge concern” after it was announced that ambulance workers would join nurses in a combined day of action

next month. On Wednesday, the GMB union said more than 10,000 ambulance workers – including paramedics, emergency care assistants and call handlers – will stage strikes on

February 6, February 20, March 6 and March 20. Nurses are also due to strike on February 6 – meaning mass disruption can be expected across the NHS on that day. Nurses will

also strike the following day, February 7. It is the first time both ambulance staff and the Royal College of Nursing (RCN) have acted on the same day. The escalation

in industrial action comes as thousands of nurses are striking on Thursday this week at more than 55 NHS trusts in England. More than 1,000 Unite members in the Welsh

Ambulance Service are also holding the first of two 24-hour strikes on Thursday. The second is on  January 23. Commenting on the combined strike action, Saffron Cordery,

interim chief executive of the NHS Providers organisation, said: “Trusts have been warning for months that coordinated strikes were a possibility if the Government and unions

failed to reach an early agreement on this year’s pay award. “The prospect of ambulance workers and nurses striking on the same day is a huge concern. “It could be the

biggest day of industrial action the NHS has ever seen.