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Nurses to ballot over possible strike action

By Lisa Smyth

Nurses and other NHS staff could walk out in protest over cuts and changes to the way the NHS is run in a move which could bring the service to its knees.

In a devastating blow to health bosses, the Royal College of Nursing (RCN) overwhelmingly passed a motion for an indicative ballot to gauge members’ opinion on the possibility of strike action over attacks on their pay agreement.

Delegates at the RCN conference in Liverpool also voted in favour of a motion saying reforms of the NHS, being pushed through by Health Minister Andrew Lansley, will not benefit patient care.

RCN director in Northern Ireland Janice Smyth said: “Patients are our number one priority but this was voted for unanimously.”

The development came just hours after Unison, which represents nurses, domestic staff and cleaners in hospitals across Northern Ireland, voted to ballot members on strike action.

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