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Rishi Snak’s decision to provide olive branches to striking nurses is not dogma by the prime minister in the face of their most severe strikes affecting hospital A&E, intensive care units and cancer wards. It shows that you are guided by pragmatism.
But the clandestine way he went – a modest direct offer from No 10 to Pat Cullen, chief of the Royal College of Nursing – surprised other health unions and added to the tension in the NHS controversy. .
In fact, Mr. Sunak is in danger of earning the nickname “Submarine” due to his style of governing and exercising power. His Whitehall department reshuffle, President Volodymyr Zelensky’s visit to parliament, and last week’s Brexit deal were all surprise ploys by the man. They seem to prefer to negotiate in secret until their plans are ready to be revealed.
However, in the NHS strike, the proposal for nurses caused deep concern among ambulance staff, cleaners, porters and other union officials representing nurses who were not members of the RCN.
The government is now planning amendments and is apparently considering calling on other unions that may offer similar deals to nurses.
After months of stalemate, talks between Health Secretary Steve Barclay and the leadership of nurses, and the possibility of further negotiations, represent real progress. To make amends, ministers will ask for a pledge to call off next month’s ambulance strike in exchange for the new proposal.
Despite the recent war of words, there is much optimism on both sides that the worst of the NHS’s industrial unrest may soon be over.