Joint Scottish and Welsh calls for additional NHS funding to avert strike action

Humza Yousaf and his Welsh counterpart have written to UK Health Secretary Steve Barclay asking for more funding to avert strikes this winter.

r Yousaf, along with Eluned Morgan, wrote to Mr Barclay ahead of Chancellor Jeremy Hunt’s autumn statement next week to call for extra funding for hard-working NHS workers.

It comes after rescue workers in Scotland voted for a day-long industrial action on November 28.

Deputy First Minister John Swinney and the Welsh Government’s Treasury Secretary recently wrote to the Treasury calling for additional funding for public services.

The anger felt by NHS staff is understandable

The letter read: “We wanted to write to you ahead of the Chancellor’s autumn statement on November 17 to once again advocate additional funding for our hard-working NHS staff.

“The Royal College of Nursing has announced a comprehensive statutory mandate for industrial action across the UK. In Scotland they have joined several other unions representing NHS workers to gain a legal mandate to take industrial action, with ballots expected to confirm a mandate in the rest of the UK.

“The risk of industrial action for the NHS this winter is high and we must all do everything we can to avert any form of industrial action.

The NHS across the UK continues to feel the effects of the pandemic as it recovers and remobilizes and any action is likely to have disastrous repercussions across the UK.

“We are living through a cost of living crisis and the anger felt by NHS staff is entirely understandable.

“Sky inflation combined with high interest rates, a direct result of the chaos caused by the UK Government’s mini-budget, means we are simply unable to meet the expectations of NHS staff at large country to fulfill.

“While the UK government’s support in areas such as support for energy bills is welcome, it has not gone nearly far enough.

According to media reports, the Chancellor is considering re-imposing unmandated austerity measures on the UK people through large-scale spending cuts. That would be a disaster for our public services, including the NHS, at a time when they need more investment, not less.

“We would therefore like to ask you to work with us to plead with the Chancellor ahead of his autumn statement for an increase in funding for the NHS and devolved governments at large, primarily to give our hard-working NHS staff a fair pay rise in the light of of the cost of living crisis this winter and avoiding what could be disastrous industrial action in the NHS.”

A UK Government spokesman said: “We are investing record amounts in health and social care and the Chancellor has made it clear that protecting public services such as the NHS is a priority.

“We are very grateful for the hard work of NHS staff, including nurses, and that is why we have fully accepted the recommendations of the independent NHS Salary Review Board and have given over a million NHS workers in England a pay rise of at least £1,400 this year.

“This comes on top of a 3% wage increase last year, when public sector wages were frozen, and broader government support for the cost of living.” Joint Scottish and Welsh calls for additional NHS funding to avert strike action

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