Information on Industrial action
You can find out more about upcoming industrial action on this page.
What is happening?
Trade unions representing a number of NHS staff groups are in dispute with the Government over the 2022/23 pay award. Some unions have a mandate from their members to take industrial action, some are balloting their members over whether they should take action.
As a result, members of the following unions are striking on the dates listed below:
• Mon 2 October – Consultant & Junior Doctor strikes
• Tues 3 October – Consultant & Junior Doctor strikes
• Wed 4 October – Consultant & Junior Doctor strikes
• Thurs 5 October (until 7am) - Consultant & Junior Doctor strikes
Can the NHS provide safe services during strikes?
Once strike dates are announced, the NHS will work towards minimising the risk to patient safety, and the disruption to services. 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.
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.
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.
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?
Junior doctors strikes may impact some appointments. Please continue to attend your GP appointments, unless you are contacted and told otherwise.
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 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.
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.
Should I cancel my appointment on the day of strikes?
No, if we have not contacted you, please attend your appointment as planned.
Is there anything I should do now?
To avoid delays in getting your medicines or the risk of running out of medicines during strikes please order prescriptions in good time.
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 NHS 111 online online (if you do not have internet access then 111 helpline is available) or at your local GP or pharmacy.
How long will services be impacted?
The junior doctors strike by members of the British Medical Association, BDA and HCSA will last for 72 hours.
Will dentists be impacted?
The British Dental Association has advised that some of their members who work in hospitals on trainee contracts will take action on the same days as junior doctors. However the vast majority of dentists will continue to work. Please continue to attend any dental appointments unless you are contacted and told otherwise.
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 a hospital to ensure we can continue to provide emergency care. 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.