One-hour walkout as nursing students support junior doctors
Nursing students join striking doctors in joint attack on government's plans for the NHS
Nursing students stopped working for an hour this morning to show support for junior doctors who have begun a 24-hour strike about changes to their contract.
The official time of the walkout for those on placement was 10am, although the advice from protest organisers has been to fit in an hour whenever it was convenient and with full permission from ward managers.
The junior doctors began providing emergency cover only from 8am today in the latest industrial action since the government vowed to bring in new contracts for them reducing the unsocial hours they get paid extra for.
Nursing colleagues have joined in as part of their own fight with the government over plans to scrap bursaries for nursing students in favour of loans.
They have named today Walkout Wednesday and made it part of a week of action which began on Monday organised by the NHS Bursary Cuts Forum (NHSBCF) and the Student Assembly Against Austerity.
Those who are not on placement were urged to use the hour to wear badges and hand out leaflets to inform patients and the public of the threats facing both the nursing profession and junior doctors.
Rallies and marches have been organised throughout the country. In Manchester, a protest march by nursing students was due to take place at 10.30am at Manchester Royal Infirmary. There is also a planned rally of doctors and nurses at 1pm at Central Methodist Hall in Oldham.
In London, members of the NHSBCF are due to visit picket lines at the following hospitals: St Thomas’, Westminster; St Mary’s, Paddington; University College Hospital, and Chelsea and Westminster.
The RCN supports the students' act of solidarity but has issued advice and a note of caution for those who plan to walk out.
Click here for details of the week of action.