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Nurses strike to impact services in Lancashire and South Cumbria

Written by on 29/04/2023

The Royal College of Nursing (RCN) has announced that strike action will take place from 8pm on Sunday 30 April to 11.59pm on Monday 1 May 2023.

The strike will involve nurses in all departments, including emergency departments, intensive care units and cancer services, which will affect services run by Lancashire Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay NHS Foundation Trust.

A busy service was already anticipated during the Early May Bank Holiday, and there will be a further bank holiday on Monday 8 May following the coronation of King Charles III.

People living across Lancashire and South Cumbria are asked to be mindful of the strikes when considering which health services they need to use during the period of strike action. The NHS will contact you if your appointment needs to be rescheduled due to strike action. If you have not been contacted, please attend your appointment as planned. This includes your GP and dentist appointments.

Sarah O’Brien, chief nursing officer for Lancashire and South Cumbria Integrated Care Board, which organises healthcare services in the region, said: “There is likely to be significant impact upon local services. This will mean services will feel different for patients. This could include longer waits or deferred treatment.

“The NHS is working hard to prioritise resources to protect emergency treatment, critical care, neonatal care, maternity, and trauma, and ensure we prioritise patients who have waited the longest for elective care and cancer surgery. We will only reschedule appointments and procedures where necessary and will rebook immediately, where possible. Unfortunately these strikes will have a significant impact upon planned and routine care.

“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.

“If you need medical help or advice, or you are unsure about whether you should go to hospital, go to NHS 111 online unless it is a life-threatening emergency when you should still call 999.”

Anyone with a health complaint who is unsure what to do should visit www.111.nhs.uk for immediate advice and anyone who receives a repeat prescription should order these as early as they can to allow practices and pharmacies time to process them.

It is also worth checking your general medicine cabinet before the bank holiday to make sure it is well stocked with essentials such as paracetamol, cough and cold remedies, antihistamines, and plasters and bandages. These can all be bought cheaply from supermarkets or pharmacies and your local pharmacist can also provide free, confidential, expert advice and treatment for a variety of common complaints.

Some local pharmacies will be open on bank holidays and are able to provide expert advice and deal with minor ailments and illnesses. Details of which pharmacies will be open on the bank holidays will be available at: https://www.lancashireandsouthcumbria.icb.nhs.uk/our-work/your-local-services.