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Nursing staff from more than 55 NHS trusts in England are set to take industrial action on Wednesday and Thursday.

The RCN has said the next strike is likely to be on February 6, to coincide with the 10th anniversary of the Robert Francis inquiry into Mid Staffordshire NHS Trust and the impact of nurse shortages on patient mortality.

The inquiry uncovered the neglect of hundreds of patients at Stafford Hospital between 2005 and 2009, with accounts of some elderly people being left lying in their own urine, unable to eat, drink or take essential medication.

Mr Francis and the Patient Association’s chief executive, Rachel Power, described the current stress on the NHS and excess death levels as “Mid Staffs playing out on a national level, if not worse” in a letter to the Health Secretary sent last week.

Nurses in Wales are also expected to strike in February following a month without industrial action.

The RCN is not planning to stage strikes in Northern Ireland, where there is no executive in place, or in Scotland, where action remains paused as negotiations continue.


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