Largest nurses’ strike in UK history, disrupts scheduled operations

The biggest nationwide strike in history is underway by thousands of nurses in the UK for pay and pension hikes, disrupting scheduled operations.

According to foreign media, it is the first such large-scale strike in a century involving nurses from more than half of the Royal Nursing College’s hospitals and community teams.

The Royal College of Nursing said nurses had no choice but to strike after ministers refused to negotiate, while the British government said demands for a 19 per cent increase in nurses’ pay were intolerable.

Almost a quarter of UK hospitals and community teams, all health boards in Northern Ireland and all but one hospital in Wales are on strike, while nurses in Scotland are not on strike.

Some urgent life-saving patient care will continue during the strike, but routine surgeries and other scheduled treatments are likely to be disrupted.

Trade union rules require nurses to ensure life-saving care during the 12-hour strike, with chemotherapy and kidney dialysis as routine, along with intensive care, pediatric accident and emergency and newborns in hospital. The units will continue to work during the strike.

The strike is likely to have the biggest impact on pre-booked treatments such as hernia surgery, hip replacements or outpatient clinics.

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