What services will be protected from the nursing strike action in December?
The Royal College of Nursing (RCN) has set out a list of services that will be protected from strike action in the build-up to Christmas.
The services are chemotherapy, dialysis, critical care units such as intensive care and high dependency, and neonatal and paediatric intensive care.
Other services will be reduced to Christmas day or night duty levels, the union said.
Amanda Pritchard, the head of NHS England, has insisted patients will not have procedures cancelled at the last minute due to the nurses’ strikes, but warned some care would have to be delayed.
Members of the RCN in England, Wales and Northern Ireland are set to take industrial action on December 15 and 20 after voting in favour in a ballot.
Nurses and other nursing staff will take action at half of the locations in England where the legal mandate was reached for strikes, every NHS employer except one in Wales and throughout Northern Ireland. The strike will include up to 100,000 nurses.
A separate pay offer has been made in Scotland.
RCN general secretary and chief executive Pat Cullen said that the list of exemptions shows how seriously nurses take their commitment to their jobs.
“Every nurse feels a heavy weight of responsibility to make this strike safe. Patients are already at great risk and we will not add to it,” she said.
“This list of exemptions shows how seriously we take our commitment and it should put patients’ minds at ease.
“Nursing staff do not want to take this action but ministers have chosen strikes over negotiations. They can stop this at any point.”
Ms Cullen has previously indicated some cancer services will be exempt from strike action. Asked last month if nurses would be on cancer wards on strike days, she told BBC Radio Four's Today programme: “Services such as oncology will be derogated or exempt from any strike action. "We have a number of services that we are working through at the minute that will be derogated on the day of strike, and we will release that list soon to employers.” Pressed on scans or cancer checks such as colonoscopies, she said: “Those services that are not considered life-preserving or emergency services will not be derogated. Those that do fall into those particular descriptions will be derogated.”
Full list of where nurses will strike
Royal College of Nursing members working on Agenda for Change contracts at the following employers in England, Wales, and Northern Ireland will take strike action on December 15 and 20:
East Midlands Kettering General Hospital NHS Foundation Trust
East Midlands NHS Nottingham and Nottinghamshire ICB
East Midlands Northamptonshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust
East Midlands Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust
East Midlands Nottinghamshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust
Eastern Cambridge University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust
Eastern Cambridgeshire and Peterborough NHS Foundation Trust
Eastern Cambridgeshire Community Services NHS Trust
Eastern Hertfordshire Community NHS Trust
Eastern NHS Hertfordshire and West Essex ICB
Eastern Royal Papworth Hospital NHS Foundation Trust
London Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children NHS Foundation Trust
London Guys and St Thomas NHS Foundation Trust
London Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust
London NHS North Central London ICB
London Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust
North West Alder Hey Children’s NHS Foundation Trust
North West Health Education England
North West Liverpool Heart and Chest Hospital NHS Found Trust
North West Liverpool University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
North West Liverpool Women’s NHS Foundation Trust
North West Mersey Care NHS Foundation Trust
North West The Clatterbridge Cancer Centre NHS Found Trust
North West The Walton Centre NHS Foundation Trust
Northern Gateshead Health NHS Foundation Trust
Northern Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust
Northern The Newcastle Upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
South East Oxford Health NHS Foundation Trust
South East Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
South East Royal Berkshire NHS Foundation Trust
South West Devon Partnership NHS Trust
South West Gloucestershire Health and Care NHS Foundation Trust
South West Gloucestershire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
South West Great Western Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
South West NHS Bath, North East Somerset, Swindon and Wiltshire ICB
South West NHS Devon ICB (One Devon)
South West NHS Gloucestershire ICB (One Gloucestershire)
South West North Bristol NHS Trust
South West Royal Devon University Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust
South West Royal United Hospitals Bath NHS Foundation Trust
South West Torbay and South Devon NHS Foundation Trust
South West University Hospitals Bristol and Weston NHS Foundation Trust
South West University Hospitals Plymouth NHS Trust
West Midlands Birmingham Women's and Children's NHS Foundation Trust
West Midlands Herefordshire and Worcestershire Health and Care NHS Trust
West Midlands NHS Birmingham and Solihull ICB (BSol ICB)
West Midlands The Royal Orthopaedic Hospital NHS Foundation Trust
West Midlands University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust
West Midlands Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust
Yorkshire & Humber Bradford Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
Yorkshire & Humber Leeds Community Healthcare NHS Trust
Yorkshire & Humber NHS England
Yorkshire & Humber The Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust
Wales Cardiff and Vale University Health Board
Wales Powys Teaching Local Health Board
Wales Welsh Ambulance Services NHS Trust Headquarters
Wales Hywel Dda University Health Board
Wales Swansea Bay University Health Board
Wales Cwm Taf Morgannwg University Health Board
Wales Betsi Cadwaladr University Local Health Board
Wales Velindre NHS Trust
Wales Public Health Wales
Wales Health Education and Improvement Wales Health Authority
Wales NHS Wales Shared Services Partnership
Wales Digital Health and Care Wales
Northern Ireland Northern Ireland Practice and Education Council
Northern Ireland Southern Health and Social Care Trust
Northern Ireland Western Health and Social Care Trust
Northern Ireland Belfast Health and Social Care Trust
Northern Ireland Business Services Organisation
Northern Ireland Regulation & Quality Improvement Authority
Northern Ireland Northern Ireland Blood Transfusion Service
Northern Ireland Public Health Agency
Northern Ireland Northern Health and Social Care Trust
Northern Ireland South Eastern Health and Social Care Trust
Northern Ireland Northern Ireland Ambulance Service
The RCN has previously said that despite this year’s pay award of £1,400, experienced nurses are worse off by 20% in real terms due to successive below-inflation awards since 2010.
It is calling for a pay rise of 5% above RPI inflation, saying the economic argument for paying nursing staff fairly is clear when billions of pounds are being spent on agency staff to plug workforce gaps.
The RCN has also pointed out that 25,000 nursing staff around the UK left the Nursing and Midwifery Council register in the last year, which explains why there are 47,000 unfilled registered nurse posts in the NHS in England.
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