Business as usual for hospital patients on day of strike action

image 54
Business as usual for hospital patients on day of strike action
08 October 2014

Patients booked to attend hospitals run by The Pennine Acute Hospitals NHS Trust on Monday 13 October 2014 are being advised to attend for their surgery or out-patient appointment as normal unless they have been contacted directly by the Trust and advised of alternative arrangements.

The Trust, which runs North Manchester General Hospital, Fairfield General Hospital in Bury, The Royal Oldham Hospital and Rochdale Infirmary, is working closely with its staff to ensure disruption is kept to a minimum.

If any appointments or routine outpatient clinics have to be postponed or changed, patients will be informed. Accident & Emergency Departments will run as normal.

Several NHS trade unions have balloted nationally for industrial action including Unison, Unite, Ucatt, GMB and the Royal College of Midwives. The proposed strike will take place between 7am and 11am on Monday 13 October 2014. Some trade union members will then ‘work to rule’ for the remainder of the week, taking all their breaks and starting and finishing on time.

Hugh Mullen, director of operations at The Pennine Acute Hospitals NHS Trust, said:

“To our patients, we are planning to run services as normal and we are confident that planned operations and our out-patient clinics scheduled for Monday morning will go ahead. We do not plan to cancel any patient appointments on Monday. If you have an appointment and are planning to come in for treatment at any of our hospitals, please continue to attend unless you are contacted directly by the Trust. It is not necessary to check, we will contact you if your appointment is affected and if there is any need to change your appointment.

“In the event of any industrial action and staff shortage, we have robust contingency plans in place to ensure quality of patient care and patient safety is not compromised. Early indications suggest we will be able to provide most services as normal across all of our hospitals. We recognise that staff have the right to strike or otherwise show their support for the industrial action and we have been working closely with the trade unions to plan for staff availability during the hours of the strike. Some staff groups will be taking industrial action but our doctors are not striking and will be at work. Emergency life-saving care will be our priority; our A&E departments, our operating theatres and cancer services will be unaffected.”

More information and updates will be regularly available on the Trust Twitter and website.