The island’s nurses are preparing further industrial action and campaigns in protest over their pay and safer staffing.

Next week will see 40 off-duty Royal College of Nursing (RCN) members protest around the island for the day on a ‘fair pay for Manx nurses campaign bus’.

The bus trip is set to start at Noble’s Hospital on Wednesday, August 16, and visit Ramsey Market Square, Peel Market Place and Castletown Square.

Members also have further strike action planned for early September, which will be their second industrial action in three months.

While there isn’t a fixed date confirmed for the strike, it is to be a 24-hour walk out rather than the 12-hour action last month.

If nothing changes, they have warned the government of a possible 48-hour strike in October.

RCN hopes these protests and demonstrations will bring much needed attention to the pay and safe staffing issues at Noble’s Hospital, with both the general public and government members.

Manx Care has already said it does not have the funding available to offer an enhanced deal to nurses, as it has exhausted its funding pot.

There has been no change to the pay dispute since the 12-hour nurse strike last month.

The most recent pay offer was in May of this year, which was a £1,000 consolidated payment for the pay year 2022-23 in addition to the 6% already awarded in November 2022.

This was rejected by RCN members.

Following the strike last month we reported that RCN accused the government of ‘pitching public sector workers against each other’ after it announced every police officer in the island would receive an extra £3,000 in their pay packets on July 18, the same day as the nurses’ marched from Noble’s Hospital to Villiers Square.

Minister of Health and Social Care Lawrie Hooper responded to this saying ‘negotiations are ongoing between Manx Care and nursing unions’, and that he didn’t believe the retention payment for police pitches workers against each other, adding that ‘the recognition of one set of circumstances isn’t intended to be inconsiderate of other parties’.

Nurses are encouraging the public to support them as they tour the island on their ‘fair pay for Manx nurses’ campaign bus’.

They are set to begin demonstrating outside Noble’s Hospital at 8.30am on Wednesday next week, with the bus leaving for the trip round the island at 10am.

The protest will continue in Ramsey Market Square from 10.45am until 12.15pm, before they head west to spend an hour and a half in Peel Market Place.

Leaving Peel at 2.30pm they will head to Castletown Square until 4.45pm, ticking off the south, before returning to Noble’s Hospital at 5.15pm.

Claire Green, ward sister at Noble’s Hospital and the RCN Isle of Man secretary, said: ‘We’re doing a bus trip because people think this we’re just based at Noble’s Hospital but your health care and your nurses are all over the island, in the community, up at the Ramsey Cottage Hospital and the health centres, so we’re going around the Isle of Man to spread the word!

‘This is to let people know why we’re taking action, why we’re unhappy and about the safety issues that are involved.

‘Come down and talk to us because we want to talk, we want to engage with people so they know why we’re doing it, and so they don’t think it’s just about money.

‘For every extra patient in hospital that a nurse gets to look after there’s an extra 7% chance of all the patients in their care dying, and that is massive and really quite worrying.

‘We need to make sure we’re as safe as we possibly can be.’

‘We don’t want to disrupt services, we want to get our patients the right treatment at the right time and at the moment that is not happening.

‘Strike action has to be disruptive so hopefully the government will listen!’

When asked if she thinks the bus trip and the upcoming strike action will force the government’s hand, Claire said: ‘I hope so, but who knows?

‘It’s about awareness, we are unfortunately having to plan strike action again and we got really good public support last time and we want to keep that, which is why we’re going on a road trip.’

‘We don’t have any finalised dates yet [for the strike action] because they have to be agreed with our council and the Council of Ministers, but there will be a 24-hour strike in September and then a 48-hour strike in October if it comes to that, which we’re hoping it doesn’t obviously.’

Danielle Scapens, regional communications manager at the RCN, said: ‘We want to make the public aware of the reasons why we are taking strike action because obviously there is this misconception that this is just about pay, and fair enough it is a bit about pay because we’re in a cost of living crisis and it’s affecting everyone, but it is about safe staffing as well.

‘We want to make sure that people know that nurses don’t want to strike, but they have to strike for their patients.’

The strike last month, held on Tuesday, July 25, led to 120 face-to-face appointments being cancelled at Noble’s Hospital.