Health Secretary Steve Barclay is set to speak with union members to prevent further strike actions.

Mr. Barclay expects assurances from union officials that Category 2 incidents, like strokes or cases of severe chest pain, will be treated during the protest.

Sources said he will not address pay rises during the coming talks.

READ MORE: UK GOVERNMENT REFUSING TO BUDGE ON NURSES’ PAY AS HISTORIC STRIKES LOOM

This week nurses and ambulance workers will walk out over pay and working conditions.

Royal College of Nursing (RCN) chief Pat Cullen said strikes would be scrapped if Mr. Barclay opened up negotiations over pay.

However, a government source stated Mr. Barclay will only discuss “patient safety and non-pay issues”.

The RCN demands a 5 percent pay rise as opposed to the government’s offer of nearly 4 percent.

READ MORE: BORDER FORCE WORKERS, AMBULANCE CREWS AND DWP STAFF ARE AMONG THOSE WHO WILL BE PART OF THE CHRISTMAS STRIKES

An independent pay review body recommended it in the summer before inflation peaked at historic levels.

A GMB union spokesperson said: “He must start listening to what ambulance workers are saying – he needs to talk pay now.”

Rishi Sunak has said earlier that the government was “reasonable and fair” throughout the talks and boosting the offer would just increase inflation.

Mr. Barclay remarked that unions should accept the offer and added that the nurses he met with had other grievances they wanted to be addressed.

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He said: “They also talk about the estate and our new hospitals building programme being really important to them.

“They talk about frustrations often with technology and how we need to invest more in that.

“They talk sometimes about some of the abuse that they receive and issues of safety and how we can work together to improve safety for staff.

“So there’s a range of issues that are raised by nurses with me.”

Mr. Barclay mentioned that Downing Street had opposed giving a one-off payment to nurses to avert strikes.

Unison, Unite, and the GMB have announced that their members will walk out on Wednesday, December 21.

Source: Sky News

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