Patients should ‘use services appropriately’ while nurses and paramedics strike
Patients are being urged to ‘use health services appropriately’ as ambulance workers and nursing staff will be holding more strikes.
For the first time this year, Royal College of Nursing (RCN) members at a number of NHS organisations across Lancashire and South Cumbria plan to join strike action on the same day as Unite and GMB members of North West Ambulance Service.
Ambulance and nursing staff will both strike on Monday (February 6), while nursing strikes will continue on Tuesday (February 7).
Ambulance service staff who are members of Unison will take part in further industrial action on Friday (February 10).
Dr David Levy, medical director at NHS Lancashire and South Cumbria Integrated Care Board, which organises health services for the region, said there is likely to be significant service disruption and has urged people to make NHS 111 Online their first port of call for non-emergency health needs.
Dr Levy said: “The NHS has tried and tested plans in place to mitigate risks to patient safety and manage any disruption but there is likely to be a disruption to services across Lancashire and South Cumbria.
“We ask people to use services wisely during industrial action and take simple steps to help ensure care is available to those who need it most. This includes using NHS 111 online as the first port of call for health needs and continuing to only use 999 if it is a life-threatening emergency.
“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.
“If your conditions are not life-threatening you are unlikely to get an ambulance on strike days. Not all hospitals are impacted, but please check your local services for information about any disruption.”
Industrial action by North West Ambulance Service staff is planned on the following dates in February:
Monday, February 6 - Unite and GMB members only
Friday, February 10 – Unison members only
Thursday, February 16 - GMB members only
Monday, February 20 - GMB members only
Wednesday, February 22 - Unite members only
Meanwhile, industrial action by Royal College of Nursing members is planned on Monday and Tuesday and is set to impact the following organisations:
University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay NHS Foundation Trust (UHMBT)
Lancashire Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (LTH)
North West Ambulance Service NHS Trust (NWAS)
The NHS will continue to do everything it can to go ahead with planned procedures – especially for those in greatest clinical need – and patients will be contacted if an appointment needs to be rescheduled. Anyone who has not been contacted should attend their appointment as planned.
Local NHS services will also keep their websites and social media accounts up-to-date with information about local service disruption – so please check before you travel.