Industrial action

During industrial action please continue to come forward for your appointments unless advised otherwise.Β 

We thought it would be helpful to let you know that we have plans in place to during strike action and that we will still be providing emergency medical care for those who need it. Unfortunately, there may be additional delay however we are working hard to minimise the disruption where possible.

If you have a booked appointment during this period, please attend as usual unless you have been contacted by us to rearrange. Please seek the care you need during industrial action and use services wisely by going to NHS 111 online as the first port of call. Call 999 in a life-threatening emergency. Please see some frequently asked questions below.

FAQs for patients

What if I need urgent or emergency care?
Anyone who needs urgent care should use NHS111 online to be assessed and directed to the right care for them. If you do not have internet access, then 111 helpline is available. When someone is seriously ill or injured and their life is at risk, you should seek emergency care in the normal way, by calling 999.

If staff are out on strike, what does it mean for emergency care?
In advance of strike action, we work with unions to agree which members of staff can continue to work to ensure safe levels of care. These agreements are called derogations and often mean that some health union members will continue their work in line with an agreement between employers and unions. Where derogations have not been agreed, we may have to move staff from other departments within the hospital to ensure we can continue to provide emergency care. Unfortunately, this could mean disruption to some routine appointments and procedures.

Can the NHS provide safe services during strikes?

The NHS is working hard to minimise the risk to patient safety. This means we will prioritise resources to protect emergency treatment, critical care, neonatal care, maternity, and trauma, and ensure we prioritise patients who have waited the longest for elective care and cancer surgery. We will only reschedule appointments and procedures where it is necessary and will rebook immediately, where possible. Unfortunately these strikes will have a significant impact upon planned and routine care.

What will this mean for appointments?
During strike action we will prioritise emergency treatment and patients seeking urgent treatment will be seen. Unfortunately, this means we may have to prioritise emergency care over some routine appointments and procedures. Everyone who has an appointment should attend as planned, unless advised. If we have not contacted you, please attend your appointment.

Will emergency care be affected on strike days?
Emergency care will continue to be available across all parts of the country. It is really important that in emergency and life-threatening cases – when someone is seriously ill, or their life is at risk patients continue to come forward as normal.

When will I find out if my appointment is rescheduled?
We will contact you if your appointment needs to be rescheduled due to strike action. This is likely to be a text, phone call or a letter and you should be offered an alternative date for your appointment. If we have not contacted you, please attend your appointment as planned.

If my appointment is rescheduled, will I be put back to the bottom of the waiting list?
Any appointments that need to be rescheduled will be done so as a priority.

Should I cancel my appointment on the day of strikes?
No, if we have not contacted you, please attend your appointment as planned.

Will GP services be affected on strike days?
GP services are not impacted by ambulance or nursing strikes. However, junior doctors’ strikes may impact some appointments. Please continue to attend your GP appointments, unless you are contacted and told otherwise.

What is considered an emergency?
Patients should only call 999 if seriously ill or injured, and there is risk to life. Ambulances will be dispatched where clinically appropriate.