Public warned to expect significant service disruption ahead of NHS industrial action

Royal College of Nursing (RCN) members plan to join strike action from 8pm this Sunday (April 30th) until midnight on Bank Holiday Monday (May 1st).

Unlike previous action, union leaders have confirmed that this strike will involve nursing staff working in emergency departments, intensive care units, cancer care and other services that were previously exempt. Significant service disruption is expected.

Almost all Cheshire and Merseyside NHS Trusts are expected to be impacted, with a potential for a wider impact on community services such as Walk-In Centres and Urgent Treatment Centres.

NHS Cheshire and Merseyside’s Medical Director, Prof Rowan Pritchard Jones said: “There is likely to be significant impact on local services during this period of NHS industrial action. Patients may need to wait longer to be seen as those in greatest need will be prioritised.

“In the event of a life or limb threatening emergency you should always call 999 or attend A&E. If, however, you are unsure, or your health issue is less urgent, please use the NHS 111 Online service which will take you through a symptom checker and offer advice. Many high street pharmacies will also be open throughout the bank holiday weekend.”

The NHS will continue to deliver planned care where possible, especially for patients in greatest clinical need, and we would urge the public to attend any planned appointments unless contacted directly by the NHS to reschedule.

Local NHS services will be using their websites and social media channels to provide up to date information to the public about local service disruption – so please check before you travel.

NHS 111 Online can tell you:

  • Where to get help for your symptoms
  • How to find general health information and advice
  • Where to get an emergency supply of your prescribed medicine
  • How to get a repeat prescription

More information about when to call 999 and when to go to A&E is available via the national NHS website.