Nurses at NHS trusts in Hertfordshire are set to strike over Christmas this year.

Two Herts trusts involved are the Hertfordshire Community NHS Trust and NHS Hertfordshire and West Essex ICB. 

Nursing staff at the majority of NHS employers across the UK have voted to take strike action over pay levels and patient safety concerns. 

Many of the biggest hospitals in England will see strike action by RCN members, but others narrowly missed the legal turnout thresholds to qualify for action. 

All NHS employers in Northern Ireland and Scotland will be included and all bar one in Wales met the relevant legal thresholds. 

The Government has said that contingency plans are in place to deal with any industrial actions by nurses. 

Industrial action is expected to begin before the end of this year and the RCN’s mandate to organise strikes runs until early May 2023, six months after members finished voting. 

Nursing staff were balloted following the NHS Agenda for Change pay announcements earlier this year, which left experienced nurses 20 per cent worse off in real terms compared to ten years earlier. 

RCN general secretary and chief executive Pat Cullen said: “Anger has become action – our members are saying enough is enough. The voice of nursing in the UK is strong and I will make sure it is heard. Our members will no longer tolerate a financial knife-edge at home and a raw deal at work. 

“Ministers must look in the mirror and ask how long they will put nursing staff through this. While we plan our strike action, next week’s Budget is the UK government’s opportunity to signal a new direction with serious investment. Across the country, politicians have the power to stop this now and at any point. 

“This action will be as much for patients as it is for nurses. Standards are falling too low, and we have strong public backing for our campaign to raise them. This winter, we are asking the public to show nursing staff you are with us.” 

Tony Durcan, RCN senior officer for Hertfordshire, said: “Paying nurses fairly or not is a political choice, and the results of our ballot show that thousands of our members across the country are saying enough is enough. 

“Our members have been pushed to the point where many now feel that strike action is the only way to get ministers to listen. 

“Unfortunately, the turnout threshold hasn’t been reached for strike action to take place in every NHS trust, but our members who won’t be part of the strike can be assured that nurses who do go on strike elsewhere will do so to fight for the same common issues – deflated pay, intolerable working pressures and persistent staff shortages that compromise patient care. Welwyn Hatfield Times: The Fair Pay for Nursing campaign is calling for a pay rise of 5% above inflation.The Fair Pay for Nursing campaign is calling for a pay rise of 5% above inflation. (Image: Newsquest)

“In organisations where nurses do take strike action, we’ll be working with employers to ensure staffing is maintained in critical and life-preserving services so that patients are protected, but this action is as much about wanting better care for patients, with properly staffed services, as it is about pay. Fair pay is one of the keys to resolving the dire shortage of nurses.” 

In the last year, 25,000 nursing staff around the UK left the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) register.

There are 47,000 unfilled registered nurse posts in England’s NHS alone. 

The Fair Pay for Nursing campaign is calling for a pay rise of 5 per cent above inflation (measured by RPI). 

If you are a local nurse involved in the strikes and would like to have your say, email