Industrial Action Update
In recent weeks, trade unions representing NHS staff across the country have been balloting their members and advised the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care that they are in dispute over the 2022/23 pay award and patient safety concerns. The Royal College of Nursing (RCN) announced that strike action will be taking place in some parts of the country on Thursday 15 December and Tuesday 20 December but this will not affect every area or employer.
In Derby and Derbyshire, the ballot of RCN members at University Hospitals of Derby and Burton, Chesterfield Royal Hospital, Derbyshire Community Healthcare Services (DCHS) and Derbyshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust (DHcFT) either did not reach the threshold or opted not to take industrial action; DCHS and DHcFT did reach the threshold and the RCN has decided not to focus on Derbyshire in December. This means that no industrial action will take place at acute hospitals and community healthcare providers across Derbyshire on 15 and 20 December 2022. Patients who have appointments or need to use any NHS services, should continue to attend unless they are directed otherwise.
On 13 December the Royal College of Midwives in England announced that their ballot for industrial action had not reached the threshold to strike. The Chartered Society of Physiotherapy will declare their position in January. Ambulance services for Derby and Derbyshire are run by East Midlands Ambulance Service (EMAS) and the EMAS ballot did reach the required threshold to have a mandate to strike and to take action short of a strike. West Midlands Ambulance Service (WMAS) staff who provide ambulance services in the Staffordshire border areas of Derbyshire and also convey patients to University Hospitals of Derby and Burton have voted in the same way with the same outcome as EMAS. Strike action for EMAS and WMAS is planned to take place on Wednesday, 21 December from 06.00 hours to 06.00 hours on Thursday, 22 December; and Wednesday, 28 December 2022, from 06.00 hours to 06.00 hours on Thursday, 29 December 2022. This will affect ambulance service provision in Derby and Derbyshire. Nationally, NHS England, NHS Employers, and the Association of Ambulance Chief Executive’s (AACE) continue to hold talks with Trade Unions and at the moment is not possible to confirm the implications of the EMAS strike actions for people needing ambulance services. We will update further once the impact become clear. EMAS are providing regular updates on the situation and more information is available here
It is important to note that strike plans are different in other health systems and to be aware of local arrangements if you travel out of Derby and Derbyshire for your healthcare and treatment. We know that staff in Nottinghamshire did reach the threshold to strike and they plan to take part in the strike action on Thursday 15 December and Tuesday 20th December. We are currently working with colleagues in Nottinghamshire to understand the implications for our patients and in the meantime they are providing updates via their website at https://notts.icb.nhs.uk/2022/12/09/industrial-action-update/
We value staff across our health and care system for their hard work and commitment to patients and we respect their right to raise their concerns through their trade unions. We hope that a satisfactory resolution can be reached quickly and in the meantime we are doing everything we can to ensure that NHS services continue to be delivered safely and effectively.