THERE might be some good news for Gwent despite Royal Colleague of Nursing director Helen Whyley hammering home the point about nurses’ strike action in her latest statement.

Aneurin Bevan University Health Board, which covers Blaenau Gwent, Caerphilly, Monmouthshire, Newport, and Torfaen, confirmed their nurses will not be striking as RNC brings crippling action to the nursing sector on February 6 and 7.

During the strikes, the health service will most likely run a bank holiday-style service in many areas.

Ms Whyley reaffirmed nurses’ determination to strike and reiterated why they are doing it.

“Our members have been telling us for a long time that they have not been able to provide the level of care they want to for their patients,” Ms Whyley told the Argus.

“Nurses in Wales are over worked and understaffed, yet they are doing their very best. These strikes are not only for fair pay for nursing, but for patient safety in the long term.

Cardiff and Vale Health Board are one of the few health boards that seem to be in the dark about the strikes, telling the Argus, “We haven't had any information about February strikes.”

Some 12 health boards and organisations in Wales will take part in the strikes.

Ms Whyley confirmed there be disruption, but the public will continue to get support where needed.

“Unlike workers in many other sectors during a strike, some nursing staff continue their work,” added Ms Whyley. “This is carefully negotiated with employers beforehand to make sure patients are safe.”

In December, thousands of nurses at trusts across England and Wales took part in two strike days, leading to the cancellation of thousands of hospital appointments and operations.

Its decision to strike on February 6 is designed to coincide with the 10th anniversary of the Robert Francis inquiry into Mid Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust, which highlighted the impact of nurse shortages on patient care and excess deaths.

RCN chief executive Pat Cullen said of the latest strike announcement: “It is with a heavy heart that nursing staff are striking this week and again in three weeks. Rather than negotiate, (Prime Minister) Rishi Sunak has chosen strike action again.”

In the latest on the negotiations, last Wednesday Health Secretary Steve Barclay said he does not “think it is right” to “retrospectively” go back to April when it comes to reviewing the current pay award for NHS staff.

It came after reports he is considering backdating any 2023/24 pay rise, due to be finalised in the spring, to this month in order to boost the current year’s settlement offer.