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NHS Confederation Responds to RCN and UNISON Pay Ballot Outcomes

Responding to the outcome of RCN and Unison member ballots on the government’s pay offer, Matthew Taylor, chief executive of the NHS Confederation, said:

“While it was positive to see that UNISON members have voted today in favour of the pay deal, it is therefore disappointing that the RCN and its members have voted against it. We must now await the views of other unions in the coming days and weeks.

“This mixed outcome leaves the NHS in limbo at a time when it desperately needs certainty. NHS leaders will be anxious about the impact it will have on patient care and their efforts to bring down waiting lists.

“The cumulative impact of the strikes has already seen the cancellation of over 300,000 appointments and operations, and this number will swell following the junior doctor strikes this week. The prospect of months of further strike action will be a cause of great concern.

“NHS leaders and staff have planned and prepared well for the strikes to date and have worked closely with local union representatives to ensure they do all they can to deliver safe care and minimise disruption to patients. But local services have been greatly stretched and a laser-like focus on maintaining patient safety in emergency and critical care and other areas has come at a cost to patients and families on elective and diagnostic waiting lists.

“NHS leaders understand the pressures facing staff and the context that’s led to industrial action. We know these decisions are never taken lightly and are bound up in multiple factors beyond pay alone. But this latest development following the RCN vote will lead to more uncertainty. We will now have to await the views of other unions before we can know where this will go next.”

 

 
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