Nurses spoke to top politicians last night days after their union announced that members had voted to strike in a pay dispute.

Members of the Royal College of Nursing (RCN) put questions to the Health and Social Care and Treasury Ministers at the meeting.

The RCN arranged the question and answer session for nurses and other healthcare staff, with priority given to their members.

Held at Keyll Daree, the 90-minute session provided the chance for staff to discuss a range of topics with the ministers, including cost of living pressures, housing, stress at work and recruitment and retention.

Health Minister Lawrie Hooper told them about the health transformation initiatives as well as increased training opportunities and the recently successful recruitment drives aimed at easing workforce pressures.

Ahead of the 75th anniversary of the island’s health service, the ministers repeated government’s commitment to the provision of high-quality healthcare and detailed the programmes underway to support essential workers such as nurses, doctors and other healthcare workers.

Treasury Minister Alex Allinson discussed the agreed long-term funding formula for health and social care.

The base budget for Manx Care has increased from £279m in 2021-22 to £313m in this year’s Budget.

In addition to this an extra £18m has been agreed by Tynwald to provide extra capacity for reducing waiting lists. In the two years 2021-22 and 2022-23 Treasury also agreed to £59m of fund claims, some of which met the increased pressures and costs of the pandemic.

Mr Hooper said: ‘I was happy to accept the invitation from the Royal College of Nursing to meet with their members, listen to their concerns and learn from their experiences.

‘The department and Manx Care have embarked on an ambitious programme to support essential workers, reduce workload pressures and recruit new staff to ensure we have a more resilient NHS. It is essential that we engage with those at the front line and I appreciate so many nurses and other healthcare workers who took the time to speak with us.’

The RCN has not commented about the evening.

The union has not given dates for any possible industrial action.