Members of the Royal College of Nursing have voted to accept a pay deal and avoid strike action, but the Scottish Government has been warned it must deliver on reforms.

A ballot on the latest pay offer was open from February 28 to March 20, with a strike mandate valid until May.

Just over 50% of eligible members took part in the consultative ballot, with 53.4% voting to accept the offer.

That means the threat of strike action has been avoided, but the RCN has warned the Scottish Government it must deliver much-needed reforms to take the pressure off members.

The union also stated that it would call for talks to be re-opened should Holyrood receive extra funding for NHS pay in 2022-23 due to a pay offer on the table from NHS England.

Read More: RMT members at Network Rail accept offer to end rail strikes

Colin Poolman, Director, RCN Scotland said: “I know many of you voted for strike action with a heavy heart. It was this commitment from you to stand up for patients and for your profession that brought Scottish government back to the table.

“We asked you to give us your views and the offer has been accepted by a narrow majority. This is not the end, we will continue the fight for fair pay and safe staffing.

HeraldScotland: Health Secretary Humza Yousaf addresses the Royal College of Nursing’s annual Congress in Glasgow last week

“The Scottish government should be under no illusion; much more is required for nursing staff to feel valued and to ensure Scotland has the nursing workforce it needs. They must live up to their promises. The Agenda for Change framework must be modernised to recognise the clinical skills and expertise of nursing staff and further improvements to pay, terms and conditions are needed in the years ahead.”

Julie Lamberth, Chair, RCN Scotland board said: “It took the real threat of nursing strikes to get Scottish government to this point.

"While you voted by a narrow margin to accept the offer, the chronic staff shortages and low morale that led to the strike mandate are still very real. Scotland’s new First Minister must ensure that the nursing voice is listened to, that our contribution is recognised through the Agenda for Change review and that the commitment to a Nursing and Midwifery Taskforce delivers real change.”