Thousands of nurses walked off their jobs in England on Thursday, December 15, 2022, escalating a wave of industrial unrest in the country this month.
The nurses are on strike to demand better pay amid a cost-of-living crisis.
Emergency hospital care will continue without any hitches, and nurses will still staff chemotherapy, neonatal and pediatric intensive care units.
However, less urgent hospital treatments were expected to be affected across England, Wales and Northern Ireland.
The strike action was described as the biggest by nurses since the U.K.’s National Health Service was established in 1948.
The Royal College of Nursing (RCN) is calling for a pay rise of 5% above retail inflation, which on current figures amounts to a 19% hike, and for the government to fill a record number of staff vacancies that, it argues, is endangering patient safety.
The government has said the demand was unaffordable, and talks between the two sides on Monday, December 12, 2022 proved futile.