• NHS England and NHS Improvement passed on warnings from police around staff taking part in public protests
  • Police warning comes after small staff protest in Westminster over NHS pay

NHS staff in London have been warned by national regulators not to take part in public protests, according to an email seen by HSJ.

NHS England and NHS Improvement’s London regional team sent an email to all five sustainability and transformation partnerships in the capital warning staff against protesting at the current time.

It said the regulator had been notified by the Metropolitan Police of a “spontaneous” protest involving 10 protesters holding a banner which said ‘We saved Boris. Now give us a pay rise’.

The email added: “The Met police would like us to point out to our organisations that protests have an impact on policing and can adversely affect public confidence, and at this time the emergency regulations do not allow for protests to be held on health grounds and if future similar protests were to occur police may have to enforce the current legislation.”

No arrests were made and the protesters dispersed, the email said.

It comes after reports of potential plans by the government to freeze public sector pay.

Several other protests by NHS staff over lack of personal protective equipment and testing have also been reported on.

The Metropolitan Police, and the Cabinet Office were approached for comment.

A spokesman for NHS England’s London regional team said: “We fully support the rights of health staff to speak up, which need not contradict social distancing requirements in line with the law. The Met Police asked us to share their information with local teams, which was cascaded on their behalf.”

Updated at 6.45pm 15 May to include comment from NHSE.