Day one of NHS pay policy strike

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NHS England has reassured patients they will not be affected by the four-hour strike taking place this morning.

The strike, taking place between 07:00-11:00 BST mainly affects people in England and only some staff from Northern Ireland.

Several precautionary measures have been considered, including military personnel and police officers on standby to help ambulance services if required. Although there have been reports of NHS staff leaving picket lines to attend to urgent patient matters when required.

A series of unions are supporting the strike, including the RCM, Unison, Unite, GMB, UCATT, and the British Association of Occupational Therapists.

Union leaders have said their members will continue to provide “life and limb” cover during the strike, with 999 calls continue to be answered and A&E units to remain open.

The strike aims to increase NHS staff pay by 1%, however the government has said pay rises would be too expensive to accommodate to all.

Ahead of the strike, England’s chief nursing officer, Jane Cummings, said, “robust plans” had been put in place and patient safety “was a priority”.