Health unions launch mass boycott of NHS pay review body in blow to Steve Barclay

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Doctors, nurses and midwives are staging a mass boycott of the NHS pay review body, as a union leader claimed the system is “rigged”.

Ministers had pinned hopes on the upcoming annual pay review to finally end the strike deadlock which is blighting the NHS.

While health unions have demanded backdated pay rises, the Government had told them to wait until the 2023 review amid fears of fuelling inflation. 

But on Wednesday, the deadline for submitting evidence for the 2023-24 pay round, 15 health unions representing more than one million NHS staff announced they would refuse to do so.

The major blow to attempts to reach a resolution comes as up to 25,000 workers join the biggest ambulance strikes yet on Wednesday, including 999 call handlers.

‘Rigged from the start’

Around 45,000 members of the British Medical Association were balloted on strike action on Monday, with the result due at the end of February.

In a statement on Wednesday morning, the 15 unions including the British Medical Association (BMA), the Royal College of Nursing, Unison, Unite, GMB and the Royal College of Midwives, revealed they will refuse to co-operate with the NHS pay review body while the current dispute remains unresolved.

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