IN PICTURES: Wigan's nurses on strike in national dispute over pay
Nurses braved freezing temperatures as they turned out in their droves to form a picket line outside Wigan Infirmary.
Staff from Wrightington, Wigan and Leigh Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (WWL) have joined a national two-day strike by the Royal College of Nursing in a dispute over pay.
They waved flags and carried placards on Wigan Lane on Wednesday morning as their industrial action began.
Nursing staff from more than 55 NHS trusts in England are taking part in industrial action on Wednesday and Thursday following two days of action in December.
The RCN has announced that two further, bigger strikes will be held next month if a resolution is not found.
Pat Cullen, chief executive and general secretary of the RCN, said nurses felt “totally heartbroken” going on strike, but felt they had no choice.
Bosses at WWL have said there are “robust plans” are in place to ensure patients can still receive essential care.
But some services will be affected, with the urgent treatment centre in Wigan only open from 8pm to 1am and the centre in Leigh closed on both days.