More Nurses Strike Dates In January, Flu Patients Told To Stay At Home, Rishi Sunak Visits Homeless Shelter
The nursing strikes will take place unless pay talks are opened with the government (Alamy)
Nurses will go on strike again on 18 and 19 January, the Royal College of Nursing (RCN) has announced.
The nursing strikes will take place unless pay talks are opened with the government, according to the RCN, something health secretary Steve Barclay has so far refused to do.
More than 21,000 NHS nursing staff in England, Wales and Northern Ireland already went on strike last week in protest over pay that does not match inflation, and more are expected to take part on the new dates in January.
Border Force workers are also holding nationwide strikes over the Christmas period.
From today more than 1,000 Border Force employees walk out at passport control desks at Heathrow, Gatwick, Birmingham, Cardiff, Manchester and Glasgow airports, leading to thousands of air passengers facing possible delays.
The strike will continue until Boxing Day and then resume 28 December until New Year's Eve.
Other sectors on strike include postal workers, rail cleaners, and National Highways staff and driving examiners, and nurses and ambulance staff who will continue their industrial action in the new year.
Flu patients urged to stay at home
People who are unwell have been advised by the government to stay at home to avoid mixing with others and spreading infections over the Christmas period.
With NHS services already under pressure this winter, a further spike in infections could cause more delays and put patients at risk.
However, the NHS is urging people to seek medical attention if needed and for vulnerable groups to get vaccinated for Covid-19 and flu.
The UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) has warned that flu and Covid-19 cases are on the rise in England, as well as cases of scarlet fever and strep A infections.
According to UKHSA, overall hospital admission rates for Covid hit 9.56 per 100,000 in the week beginning 12 December, up from 6.61 per 100,000 the week before.
Although cases of strep A are still relatively rare, there have now been a total of 94 deaths in England in the past four months, including 21 children.
Dr Colin Brown, the deputy director at UKHSA, reassured parents that scarlet fever and strep A can be easily treated with antibiotics.
“It is very rare that a child will go on to become more seriously ill,” he said.
Parents should visit nhs.uk, contact 111 online or their GP surgery if their child has symptoms so they can be assessed for treatment.
Rishi Sunak visits homeless shelter
Prime Minister Rishi Sunak is visiting a homeless shelter this morning following his announcement that councils in England will get additional funding to target people at risk of homelessness.
The government announced a £654m funding package on Friday morning, which will be shared out to local councils in England from the Homelessness Prevention Grant over the next two years.
Sunak said: “We know that words alone are not enough. That is why the government is investing £2bn over the next three years to give some of the most vulnerable people a roof over their heads, along with targeted support to rebuild their lives.
“Today’s announcement will provide vital support to families who are at risk of rough sleeping, including by providing temporary accommodation and helping with deposits.”
Of the £654m on offer, £24m of it will go to support for homeless victims of domestic abuse.
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