Information for the public on upcoming industrial action

Posted on: Monday 23 Jan 2023

We are working hard to keep patients safe during strikes, while delivering the best care possible, and patients should continue to attend appointments as planned unless contacted to reschedule. Nobody should put off seeking urgent or emergency care during the strikes, with key services continuing to operate.

Nursing strike action

Future industrial action dates will be added to this page once confirmed.

During strike action, urgent and emergency treatment will be our priority. We are working in partnership with the RCN to make sure that all arrangements mean we can deliver safe services, while facilitating and respecting the right of those staff who wish to take legal industrial action.

Patients should continue to attend appointments as planned unless contacted to reschedule. We will be re-arranging any postponed appointments as a priority. We appreciate this situation is frustrating for patients affected and apologise for any inconvenience caused.

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

For people who require medical assistance and are considering visiting our Emergency Department, unless it’s a life-threatening or a severe illness or injury, we would ask that they contact NHS 111 first either by calling or going online https://111.nhs.uk/. The NHS will help them right away and if they need urgent care, the NHS can book them in to be seen quickly and safely.

People with life-threatening or severe illnesses or injuries should continue to dial 999 and anyone who arrives at A&E without calling NHS 111 will still receive medical care, with those needing emergency treatment prioritised.

Thank you for your understanding.

Ambulance strike action

The Yorkshire Ambulance Service is being impacted by industrial action that will take place on Monday 20 February, Monday 6 March and Monday 20 March 2023 (GMB and Unite). During this time our hospitals will remain open to provide care for patients who require treatment.

The safety of our patients is our utmost priority and we have contingency plans in place to minimise any impact industrial action will have. For instance, we have alternative arrangements in place to help manage the discharge of patients who are unable to make their own travel arrangements so that they can leave our hospital in a timely manner.

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 may not get an ambulance on strike days.

When to call 999

In an emergency (serious or life threatening condition), please continue to call 999 and you will be advised of the appropriate action to take.

When to contact NHS111 online or call NHS 111

Where the situation is not life-threatening, alternative support will be available through NHS111 online or through calling NHS 111. 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 needs to first seek help from NHS 111 online.

For more information on when to call 999 and when to go to A&E, please visit the NHS UK website.

If you have an appointment

If we have not contacted you, please attend your appointment as planned. We will contact you if your appointment needs to be rescheduled due to strike action and will re-arrange any postponed appointments as a priority. We appreciate this situation is frustrating for patients affected and apologise for any inconvenience caused.

Frequently Asked Questions From NHS England

What is happening?

  • Members of the GMB and Unite (ambulance staff) are striking on:
    • Monday 20 February 2023
    • Monday 6 March 2023
    • Monday 20 March 2023
  • Members of Unison (ambulance staff) are striking on:
    • Friday 10 February 2023

The NHS wants to see a resolution as soon as possible, but pay is a matter for the government and the trade unions. Read more information about the strikes at NHS briefing: Industrial action winter 2022.

What if I need urgent or emergency care?

Anyone who needs urgent care should use NHS111 online or call NHS 111 to be assessed and directed to the right care for themWhen someone is seriously ill or injured and their life is at risk, you should seek emergency care in the normal way, by calling 999 or attending A&E.

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 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?

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?

On strike days, 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, via the NHS 111 helpline or at your local GP or pharmacy.

The NHS.UK website has more information on when to call 999 and when to go to A&E.

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 nursing strike on 18 and 19 January 2023 will last for 48 hours overall. However patients should be aware that it may take slightly longer for services to return to normal.