The Department’s offer of an independent conciliation process on this dispute stands. As we have been saying for some time, we simply don't have the money or authority to resolve this impasse, and we strongly believe that patients should not be the ones to suffer because of that.
The serious disruption to services this week is extremely distressing. For the reasons stated, avoiding this disruption is out of our hands. Like our Trust colleagues we would still wish to apologise to everyone affected.
These decisions have regrettably been taken by Trusts on strictly operational grounds due to the level of disruption planned.
Notes to editors:
1. The Department’s proposals for a conciliation process were detailed in the press release and letter to staff issued on Friday: https://www.health-ni.gov.uk/iaupdate-291119
2. The trade union leadership has publicly acknowledged that impacts on industrial action will inevitably impact on patients: https://www.newsletter.co.uk/health/nurses-strike-union-boss-admits-action-will-impact-patients-1-9143489
3. For media enquiries please contact the Department of Health Press Office on 028 9052 0575 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. For out of hours please contact the Duty Press Officer on 028 9037 8110.
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