There's A March And Rally In Support Of NHS Staff In London On Wednesday

There's A March And Rally In Support Of NHS Staff In London On Wednesday
Nurses with placards
Nurses on strike outside St Thomas' Hospital late 2022. Photo: Will Noble/Londonist

A march and rally in solidarity with NHS staff takes place in London on Wednesday 18 January.

Organised by grassroots campaign NHS Workers Say No!, the march begins at University College London Hospital on Euston Road, and travels to Downing Street, where a rally will take place.

NHS staff, activists, and campaigners are taking part, and anyone else who wants to show their support is welcome to join. A programme of speakers has been announced, featuring NHS staff including nurses, midwives and a registrar; union representatives from the GMB, CWU, RMT and Unison unions; Labour MPs Kate Osborne and Beth Winter; and author and NHS campaigner Michael Rosen (who got seriously ill during the pandemic, and often publicly praises the NHS for saving his life/aiding his recovery).

Topics will include strikes, patient safety and government mismanagement.

What's it all about?

Photo: Will Noble/Londonist

Members of the Royal College of Nursing are striking on 18 January, the day of the rally, and the following day, with ambulance staff due to strike on 23 January. Various other sectors of the NHS are taking part in upcoming strikes too, including physiotherapists on 26 January and 9 February.

There are several issues which have led to this strike action, predominantly pay. NHS Workers Say No! claims that staff are facing cuts to pay, which is leading to many leaving the NHS, resulting in even more pressure on the system and remaining workers, and putting patients in danger, as many hospitals are left understaffed.

NHS Workers Say No! campaigns for pay justice for NHS workers, increased patient safety, and an end to outsourcing the NHS. Wednesday's March particularly focuses on opposing plans to further privatise the NHS.

Judging from the response to nurses striking outside St Thomas' Hospital late last year, there'll be a great turnout for this march. We witnessed everyone from taxi drivers to police officers sounding their support.

NHS Solidarity March takes place Wednesday 18 January 2023. Want to take part? Meet at UCLH (near Warren Street station) at 2.30pm ready to march from 3pm and reach Downing Street by 4pm.

Additionally, a protest takes place outside Downing Street defending the right to strike on Monday 16 January, organised by groups representing nurses, paramedics, firefighters and rail workers.

Last Updated 17 January 2023