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Royal College of Nursing industrial action useful information

The Royal College of Nursing (RCN)  has announced its members will strike on 18 and 19 January at employers across England as part of national industrial action over NHS pay. County Durham and Darlington NHS Trust is included in in this wave of strike action.

What is happening?

Trade unions representing NHS staff are in dispute with the Government over the 2022/2023 pay award. A number of the unions have balloted their NHS members to take part in industrial action. As a result members of the RCN, went on strike on the 15 and 20 December. County Durham and Darlington NHS Trust did not participate in in this wave of strike action.

Further strike action will take place on January 18 and 19 2023 County Durham and Darlington NHS Trust is included in this wave of strike action.

The NHS wants to see a resolution as soon as possible, but pay is a matter for the Government and the trade unions.

The questions below relate to NHS trusts impacted by strike action.

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 them.

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 or attending A&E.

What if I have an appointment on a strike day?

Everyone who has an appointment should attend as planned, unless we have contacted you to reschedule.

If we have not contacted you, please attend your appointment as normal.

If your appointment has been postponed and you were due to come into hospital using patient transport ambulance services, please let them know.

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.

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?

We will contact you if your appointment needs to be rescheduled due to strike action.

This is likely to be a letter or phone call, and you should be offered an alternative date for your appointment.

If we have not contacted you, please attend your appointment as planned.

Is there anything I should do now?

No. We 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.

How long will services be impacted?

The nurses' strikes in January will last for 12 hours. However, patients should be aware that it may take slightly longer for services to return to normal.

'In recent times, I have utilised admissions to Richardson for respite direct from my fracture clinic, even at weekends. I have never worked anywhere with this efficiency before - it is reassuring and invaluable for the patient.'

Patient, Lowson / Starling Wards, Richardson Hospital