Sunak has ‘last chance’ to save the NHS, warns union

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Major trade unions are sending a message to the prime minister on Monday that a strike may be the only option to save the NHS.

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As increasing numbers of healthcare workers vote on industrial action, Unite will launch an advertising campaign across the country calling on Chancellor Jeremy Hunt and Prime Minister Rishi Sunak to use this week’s statement to the NHS to ” panic” to prevent a money crisis.

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The union will stage a photo call in front of Parliament at St Thomas’ Hospital, where activists point to cardboard cut-outs of the prime minister explaining why a strike may be the only option to save the NHS.

The union has put out a series of newspaper advertisements, and an advertising van will visit Westminster from Monday to Thursday telling the PM it is “his last chance to save the NHS”.

Unite’s general secretary, Sharon Graham, said: “Services are crumbling while workers struggle to make ends meet. The government is directly to blame for this.

“So Unite’s advertising campaign is warning the PM that this is his last chance to save the NHS.

“The prime minister should use this weekend’s budget to halt industrial action and fix the ongoing tragedy of underfunding in the NHS.

“NHS workers stand not only for fair wages but for properly funded healthcare.”

Unite, representing around 100,000 NHS workers, has announced it is ready to bring thousands more NHS workers into action against a possible strike.

Members of the Royal College of Nursing have voted to strike pay, while other unions are voting for industrial action to cut ambulance crews, paramedics, midwives, physiotherapists and hospital porters and cleaners before the end of the year. NHS-wide walkouts are being threatened.

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