If you’re unsure of the details of the NHS strike, you might find the information you need here. In this guide, we’ll look at:
If you would like to talk about the strike and how it affects you, please get in touch with the kind and helpful members of our Support Team, who are here to help.
NHS strike dates
It is important to note that it is not the NHS as a whole that is striking. Instead, it is parts of the NHS under their own unions. Specifically, nurses from various unions, including The Royal College of Nursing (RCN), will be striking. Also, physiotherapists from the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy and ambulance staff from GMB, UNISON and Unite will be striking on different days.
The strike dates for the different parts of the NHS are listed below:
- Physios: 9 February 2023
- Ambulance staff: 6, 10, 17, 20, and 22 February in England; 6 and 20 February in Wales; 16, 17, 23, and 24 February in NI
- RCN: 6 and 7 February 2023
- GMB members (who aren’t ambulance staff): 13 February 2023
- Ambulance staff from GMB and Unite: 6 and 20 March 2023
Will the NHS Scotland strike, Wales strike and NI strike have different dates?
Yes, strikes for different unions are arranged for different days across the UK. The physiotherapists’ strike will affect England only on the 9th of February. The nurses strike on the 6th and 7th of February is also only in England. The ambulance strikes, however, will affect different parts of the UK on different dates. The England strikes will take place on the 6th, 10th, 17th, 20th, and 22nd of February. The wales strikes will happen on the 6th and 7th of February. And, the Northern Ireland strikes will take place on the 16th , 17th , 23rd, and 24th of February.
It’s also worth noting that not every ambulance service and hospital will be affected by the strikes. You can check the Royal College of Nursing (RCN), Chartered Society of Physiotherapy, GMB, Unite and UNISON websites for more information on which areas won’t have service during the strike days.
How long will the NHS strikes last?
The different services will strike for different amounts of time. The nursing strikes will last for 10 hours each, the physiotherapy strike will last for 24 hours, and the ambulance strikes could last up to 26 hours.
It’s also important to be aware that services might not go back to normal directly after each strike. So, there might still be delays in service.
How will the NHS strikes affect me?
The NHS is still doing everything it can to continue service during the strikes. GP services will still be running and you can go to any appointments you have that fall on strike days.
Chemotherapy appointments were on the list of services set to continue during the NHS strikes in December 2022. And, while there hasn’t been an update on the RCN site, it’s likely that this will still be the case. But, if you’re worried, please contact the healthcare team dealing with your care.
Emergency care will also be available across the UK. In fact, it’s very important that you still contact emergency services if you’re seriously ill or someone’s life is in danger.
What if my appointment is rescheduled?
If any appointments need to be rescheduled, the NHS will contact you. Please don’t cancel any appointments you have that fall on strike days. And, if you haven’t heard anything about your planned appointments, you can go them as normal.
Will ambulances run during the NHS strike?
Ambulances will still be sent out if necessary. But, there will be limited service. So, the NHS has asked people to only call for an ambulance if they are injured or seriously ill and there is a risk to life.
If it’s an emergency, you can call for an ambulance by dialling 999 on your phone.
Emergencies are seen as things that put people’s lives at risk, like fits, breathing difficulties, severe burns, severe bleeding, and severe allergic reactions.
If it’s not an emergency, you can contact healthcare by dialling 111 or visiting 111 online.
Will things go back to normal after the strike?
Healthcare services will pick up again after the NHS strike. But, there will be a backlog because of the delays in service. So, it may take a few days for things to get back to normal.
If you need urgent care in this time, you can either use 999 in an emergency or contact 111 or your doctor for healthcare guidance.
Who can I contact if I have more questions?
If you have a question that we haven’t answered, or you just feel unsure about the strike and need to talk about it, we’re here to help.
You can call our kind and helpful support team on 0808 800 0004. You can also email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
First published: 6 January 2023
Updated: 7 February 2023