Striking nurses in Bristol break the picket line to help man who collapsed outside the BRI
Nurses striking outside a Bristol hospital broke the picket line to help an injured man who collapsed outside the main entrance.
Striking staff raced to assist the man who fell just metres from the Bristol Royal Infirmary this morning (15 December).
They provided emergency first aid and put the patient into the recovery position.
He was seen visibly shaking on the ground outside as temperatures dropped as low as -8C.
Within 10 minutes, staff working at the hospital arrived to get the patient and lifted him onto a stretcher.
The striking nurses returned to the picket line shortly afterwards.
Tens of thousands of nurses across the UK are striking as the Government is sticking to the recommendations of the independent pay review body which said nurses should get a pay rise of around £1,400.
The Royal College of Nursing (RCN) union has been calling for a pay rise at 5% above inflation, though it has indicated it would accept a lower offer.
Talking about the strikes nurse specialist Paula Byrne, 58, said: "I’ve been a nurse for 40 years next year and I have real concerns, among myself and my colleagues, about the future of nursing.
"Daily we’re seeing nurses working under great stress with great challenge, and contributing an enormous amount of charity and goodwill, to maintain patient care so that’s a real concern for me.
"You’re seeing burnouts, you’re seeing thousands of nurse leaving the profession.
"The staffing in the NHS is the most valuable asset is has – so if you don’t protect that assess, we’re not going to have a future in healthcare because there won’t be any nurses.
"This isn’t about making things difficult for patients, though we do appreciate that there’s going to be some suffering involved.
"Unfortunately that’s where we’re at to hopefully bring about some change."
Daniel Tumino, 39, is a senior nurse in neonatal intensive care and is also striking.
He said: "We’re striking for our safety and the safety of our patients.
"The pay is getting very low, especially in my unit, we’re losing nurses day to day.
"We used to be made up of 150 nurses looking after 32 beds, but in the past three years we’ve had to drop down to 24 beds due to nurses leaving – because we only have 110 nurses now.
"Nurses would rather look at other jobs for more pay or the same pay but with less responsibility. Every move you are making in neonatal intensive care is life dependent for your patients.
"Sometimes we’re working without breaks, sometimes we have to stay to do overtime and we’re not paid for it.
"You finish late and you have to be back at 7am on the dot. We do it for our patients, but sometimes you don’t have time to look after yourself and your own family."
Daniel added: "We have nurses looking after three patients, when it should be one-to-one in intensive care – but we’re sometimes looking after three patients.
"You don’t have time to look after the patient properly, you manage to do their medications and keep their life safe, but you don’t manage to look after other aspects like the mental health of the parents, they are your patients too.
"I would like a pay rise equal to inflation, that’s all. They’ve not been doing that for 12 years."
Steve Barclay, Secretary of State for Health and Social Care said nurses were “incredibly dedicated to their job” and “it is deeply regrettable some union members are going ahead with strike action”.
He added: “My number one priority is to keep patients safe – I’ve been working across government and with medics outside the public sector to ensure safe staffing levels – but I do remain concerned about the risk that strikes pose to patients."