19/12/2022 | Press releases

Strike action February 2023

Please attend your appointments with us

Some NHS services across the country are being affected by strike action.

The Royal College of Nursing (RCN) has announced that our hospitals will be affected by nursing strikes on Monday 6 and Tuesday 7 February 2023.

Both our ESNEFT teams and the wider NHS are committed to keeping disruption to services to a minimum. Our key focus is on providing safe care for patients who need urgent and emergency services, and those receiving inpatient care in our hospitals.

We will continue to provide the following services, some may be at a reduced level:

  • Emergency care, including emergency surgery
  • Critical Care
  • Chemotherapy
  • Dialysis
  • Urgent cancer care
  • Inpatient care
  • Activity that does not require nursing support

We will be reducing the number of appointments we have planned on the two strike days to make sure we have safe levels of staff across all services. You’ll be contacted if your appointment needs to be changed, so please turn up as usual if you are not contacted. We know how disappointing it will be for patients who have their appointments rescheduled. We are very sorry and will rearrange the appointments as quickly as possible.

If you need medical help or advice, go to NHS 111 online unless it is a life-threatening emergency when you should still call 999.

Our Deputy Chief Executive Neill Moloney said: “Our teams are working incredibly hard to keep service disruption to a minimum during the days of industrial action. Plans are in place for us to be able to provide safe care while nursing colleagues are on the picket lines.

“We are very grateful to our staff for all they do for our patients every day and we respect their right to strike. Pay is a matter for the Government and the trade unions and we hope they can find a resolution as soon as possible.”

The urgent treatment centre / minor injuries unit in Harwich will not be running it usual service today and Tuesday.
You can still pop in for help and advice. Reception staff will signpost you to the right service or arrange a telephone triage appointment with a nurse at our Clacton urgent treatment centre.
Our urgent treatment centres in Clacton, Colchester and Ipswich will be open as usual.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What is happening?

Trade unions representing some NHS staff are in dispute with the Government over pay. A number of the unions have balloted their NHS members to take part in industrial action. As a result members of the Royal College of Nursing (RCN) are striking on the 6 and 7 February.

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 the 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.

What if I have an appointment on a strike day?

Everyone who has an appointment should attend as planned unless we contact you to reschedule. If we have not contacted you, please attend your appointment.

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.

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.


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