Public urged to continue to access care if they need it despite planned industrial action

The Royal College of Nursing (RCN) has confirmed that members at a number of NHS organisations across Cheshire and Merseyside plan to join strike action on Tuesday, December 20th 2022.

Separately, GMB, Unite, and Unison members of North West Ambulance Service (NWAS) plan to join strike action on Wednesday, December 21st, with GMB members also planning a further 24 hours of action on Wednesday, December 28th.

Unison action affecting Liverpool University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust and Liverpool Heart and Chest Hospital is also planned for Wednesday, December 21st.

NHS pay is a matter for the Government and trade unions.

The NHS has tried and tested plans in place to mitigate risks to patient safety and manage any disruption, including industrial action, but inevitably there will be some service disruption on strike days.

Emergency care and other critical services such as maternity departments will be open as usual and life-threatening calls responded to.

However, there will be fewer ambulances on the roads during days of industrial action by ambulance staff, 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.

The NHS will do everything it can to go ahead with planned procedures - especially for patients in greatest clinical need - and will contact you if your appointment needs to be rescheduled. If you have not been contacted, please attend your appointment as planned.

Local services will also keep their websites and social media accounts up-to-date with information about service disruption – so please check before you travel.

Irrespective of any industrial action, please do not hesitate to come forward to access care if you need it. We’re urging people to make NHS 111 Online their first port of call if they need urgent health advice on days of strike action.

NHS 111 Online can tell you:

  • Where to get help for your symptoms, if you're not sure what to do
  • How to find general health information and advice
  • Where to get an emergency supply of your prescribed medicine
  • How to get a repeat prescription