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Industrial Action

Junior Doctors will be striking 7am on Saturday 24th February until 11.59pm on Wednesday 28th February. See our news article for more information.

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Update on EMAS industrial action

Ambulances

Update as on 27.12.2022: The GMB trade union has informed its members that it has cancelled the industrial action scheduled for 28 December 2022. Instead, strike action is now scheduled for 11 January 2023.

 

Important update regarding the Ambulance Strikes on Wednesday 28th December 2022.

At East Midlands Ambulance Service, industrial action is planned to take place on Wednesday, 28 December 2022, at 06.00 hours to 06.00 hours on Thursday, 29 December 2022.

Regardless of any strike action taking place, it is really important that people who need urgent medical care continue to come forward, especially in emergency and life-threatening cases - when someone is seriously ill or injured, or their life is at risk.

If we have not contacted you, please attend your appointment as planned. The NHS will contact you if your appointment needs to be rescheduled due to strike action.

GP services are not impacted by this strike action. Please continue to attend your GP appointments, unless you are contacted and told otherwise.

If you need medical help or advice, go to NHS 111 online unless it is a life-threatening emergency when you should still call 999.

During strike days, it is likely 999 call handlers will be very busy. NHS 111 call centres will have fewer staff, with longer call response times expected across the system. As a result, we are urging anyone with non-urgent care need to first seek help from NHS 111 online.

Patients should only call 999 if it is a medical or mental health emergency [when someone is seriously ill or injured and their life is at risk].

Ambulances will still be able to respond in these situations, but this may only be where there is an immediate risk to life.

There will be fewer ambulances on the roads during industrial action, with the NHS prioritising those with life-threatening needs. As a result patients whose conditions are not life-threatening are unlikely to get an ambulance on strike days.

Frequently Asked Questions:

What is happening?

Trade unions representing some NHS staff are in dispute with the Government over the 2022/23 pay award. A number of the unions have balloted their NHS members to take part in industrial action. As a result members of the RCN are striking on the 15 and 20 December, and members of the GMB, Unite and Unison (ambulance staff) are striking on 21 December and members of GMB (ambulance staff) are striking on the 28 December.

The NHS wants to see a resolution as soon as possible, but pay is a matter for the Government and the trade unions. 

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.

What do strikes mean for NHS services in my area?

Not every hospital and ambulance service will be affected by strike action. You can check which Trusts are affected on each trade union’s website:

Royal College of Nursing (15th and 20th December)

UNISION (21st December)

GMB (21st and 28th December)

Unite  (21st December)

What if I have an appointment on a strike day?

Everyone who has an appointment should attend as planned, unless your local NHS provider has contacted you to reschedule. If we have not contacted you, please attend your appointment even if your Trust is affected by strikes.

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.

I have a loved one who will be a hospital inpatient on strike day – how will their care be affected?

All hospital inpatients will be informed of how their care will be impacted on a ward-by-ward basis by the staff involved in delivering their care.

Will GP services be affected on strike days?

GP services will be running as normal on strike days. Please continue to attend scheduled GP appointments.

When will I find out if my appointment is rescheduled?

The NHS 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.

Is there anything I should do now?

No, the NHS will contact you if your appointment needs to be rescheduled due to strike action.

Should I cancel my appointment on the day of strikes?

No, if we have not contacted you, please attend your appointment as planned.

What should I do if I need an ambulance?

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

For all other health care needs support will be available through NHS111 online (if you do not have internet access then 111 helpline is available) or at your local GP or pharmacy.

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.

How long will services be impacted?

The nurses strikes on 15 and 20 December will last for 12 hours and the ambulance strikes on 21 and 28 December will last for 24 hours. However patients should be aware that it may take slightly longer for services to return to normal.

Could RCN members still go out on strike in a trust that has no official industrial action mandated? Action can only be taken where the employer has been notified of strike action by the union after a ballot authorising such action at that employer. It’s unlawful to take part in ‘secondary action’ (going on strike in sympathy with people who work for a different employer). Information is available here on the rights of staff around taking industrial action.

Can nurses working in a derogated area still strike?

Union members in derogated areas can still take strike action and will be protected against dismissal. Derogations are an informal agreement between unions and employers, and are not legally enforceable.

However, derogations are negotiated for areas providing critical patient care. Those refusing to work in derogated services can be advised they may be committing a criminal offence if their strike action has the potential to endanger human life or cause serious bodily injury and that they should seek advice from their union.

What rights do non-union staff have who take industrial action?

Non-union members who take part in legal, official industrial action at their employing organisation have the same rights as union members not to be dismissed as a result of taking action.

For more information regarding the ambulance strike, please go to their website Homepage | East Midlands Ambulance Service NHS Trust (emas.nhs.uk)

Posted on Thursday 22nd December 2022
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