The Health Secretary Steve Barclay has ruled out a 10% for the NHS and he said that “is not affordable, it would be an extra £3.6 billion a year and obviously that would take money away from patient services, essential services.”
Unite union said the government wont act to protect the NHS and they have chosen to “demonise ambulance workers.”
The NHS have announced their largest ever strike action as Unite have said that ambulance workers will also walkout.
Thousands of nurses from the Royal College of Nursing (RCN) will also walkout on 6 and 7 February and on Friday morning Unite said that workers from five ambulance trust in England and Wales will not join the strike on 6 February.
Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said of the fresh wave of strikes, “Rather than act to protect the NHS and negotiate an end to the dispute, the Government has disgracefully chosen to demonise ambulance workers.
“Ministers are deliberately misleading the public about the life and limb cover and who is to blame for excessive deaths.
“Our members faithfully provide life and limb cover on strike days and it’s not the unions who are not providing minimum service levels.
“It’s this Government’s disastrous handling of the NHS that has brought it to breaking point and, as crisis piles on crisis, the Prime Minister is seen to be washing his hands of the dispute.”
NHS Providers’ director of policy Miriam Deakin said, “Ten more days of strikes by Unite ambulance staff will make what is already an incredibly difficult situation for NHS patients and staff even harder.
“As one of these dates, February 6, coincides with strikes by nurses and GMB ambulance workers next month, trust leaders are facing what for many may be the most challenging day of their careers.
“Nobody wants these strikes to happen but it’s clear that staff feel they have been driven to this. We understand that.
“Trust leaders will do all they can to mitigate the impact of these strikes but escalating industrial action will only cause further disruption and impact patient care at a time when trust leaders and their staff want to focus on driving down waiting times.
“It’s absolutely imperative that the Government sit down with the unions immediately to resolve this by talking about pay for this financial year.”
Health Secretary Steve Barclay said, “Well 10% is not affordable, it would be an extra £3.6 billion a year and obviously that would take money away from patient services, essential services that we need to invest in given the backlogs from the pandemic,” he said.
“Now, within Government we take a whole Government approach – of course I have discussions with the Treasury, as do other Secretaries of State, and these things need to be balanced not just with the needs of teachers, with the Education Secretary, or train drivers with the Transport Secretary, but also what’s affordable for your viewers in terms of their own cost-of-living pressures.”