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Health & Fitness NHS nurse strikes: Which London hospitals are affected and what to do if you have an appointment

07:50  26 november  2022
07:50  26 november  2022 Source:   msn.com

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Thousands of patients could have appointments or surgery cancelled or postponed when nurses go out on strike later this year. On Friday, November 25, the Royal College of Nursing (RCN) announced its members will stage their first national strike on December 15 and 20 in a dramatic escalation of the pay row raging across the NHS.

The exact hospitals taking part in the strike will be announced shortly - but the threshold of votes for strike action was met in some of the largest trusts in London including King's College, Guy's and St Thomas', St George's and Great Ormond Street.

But while strikes in other professions can be a total walk-out of staff, there are different rules around strikes in a healthcare setting. So how will the strikes affect care? And what should you do if you have a hospital appointment on strike days? Here is everything you need to know.

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Pat (pictured right) urged the government to listen to nurses after the historic vote to strike over pay © RCN Pat (pictured right) urged the government to listen to nurses after the historic vote to strike over pay

Why are staff striking?

The RCN said it was calling strikes after the UK government turned down its offer of formal, detailed negotiations as an alternative to industrial action. The RCN said that despite a pay rise of around £1,400 awarded in the summer, experienced nurses are worse off by 20 per cent in real terms due to successive below-inflation awards since 2010.

The RCN says that low pay means staff are leaving the profession and staffing levels are such that patient safety is impacted. RCN general secretary Pat Cullen said: “Nursing staff have had enough of being taken for granted, enough of low pay and unsafe staffing levels, enough of not being able to give our patients the care they deserve.” There are 47,000 unfilled registered nurse jobs in England’s NHS alone, said the RCN.

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A nurse told MyLondon that she has had to ask her children to contribute to household bills as her salary doesn't cover the cost. Pat Yiggon, a staff nurse, says patient safety is often compromised due to staff shortages, with colleagues leaving to work at Sainsbury's.

Which hospitals will be affected?

Exact details of which hospitals and which wards will be affected is to be announced shortly. But the threshold of votes for strike action was reached in the following London Hospitals:

  • Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust
  • Guys and St Thomas NHS Foundation Trust, London Bridge
  • Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children NHS Foundation Trust, Camden
  • Hounslow and Richmond Community Healthcare NHS Trust, Hounslow and Richmond
  • St George's University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, Tooting
  • Kings College Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, Camberwell
  • Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust, Sutton
  • University College London Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, Camden
  • NHS North Central London ICB - Barnet, Camden, Enfield, Haringey and Islington
  • NHS South West London ICB - Wandsworth, Sutton, Merton, Kingston, Croydon, Richmond
  • NHS Resolution

How will it affect care at hospitals?

More details about which hospitals will be affected and how will be announced next week. Once it is, patients are advised to check with their hospital about whether their appointment is still going ahead.

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Services deemed 'life-preserving' and 'emergency-type care' will continue on strike days, RCN general secretary Pat Cullen said. However, elective treatment, outpatient care and other healthcare services are likely to be affected.

Ms Cullen told BBC Radio Four’s Today programme: “What we will continue to provide is life-preserving services. And those essentially fall into emergency-type care. But we will have very, very detailed and worked-through plans that every single nurse that is taking strike action will be expected to adhere to.”

She indicated some cancer services will be exempt, but declined to give detail when asked about scans and checks.

Asked if nurses would be in cancer wards on strike days, she said: “Services such as oncology will be derogated or exempt from any strike action. We have a number of services that we are working through at the minute that will be derogated on the day of strike and we will release that list soon to employers.”

Pressed on scans or cancer checks such as colonoscopies, she said: “All of the detail is being worked through. Those services that are not considered life-preserving or emergency services will not be derogated. Those that do fall into those particular descriptions will be derogated.”

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usr: 1
This is interesting!