NHS nurses strikes could affect cancer and A&E wards with 'Christmas Day' services


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NHS strikes later this month could see Nurses walk out of A&E departments and refuse to provide cancer treatment. The Royal College of Nursing (RCN) said that emergency departments, maternity care and cancer wards wouldn’t be excluded from strike action.

Five areas of care will be protected during the strikes which are: chemotherapy, critical care, kidney dialysis, paediatric intensive care and neonatal services.

As a result, A&E departments may potentially be unable to treat patients with problems that aren’t deemed life threatening.

Pregnant women could face disruption and cancer patients are unclear about wither radiotherapy and surgery will go ahead on the strike days.

According to The Times up to 140,000 patients could have operations or consultations cancelled.

With up to 100,000 NHS nurses set to walk out during the first round of strikes at 45 hospital trusts, there are fears that care could be reduced to “Christmas Day” minimum levels.

From next week hospitals will start to contact patients to tell them that planned surgery, scans, diagnostic tests and routine consultations have been cancelled.

NHS bosses have tried to persuade the RCN to exempt A&E units from the strikes.

However, so far the union has refused to commit to providing care in emergency departments, maternity wards and urgent surgery.

READ MORE: Top cancer charity says tackling NHS cancer backlog is ‘pipe dream’

She said: “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.

“This list of exemptions shows how seriously we take our commitment.

“Nursing staff do not want to take this action but ministers have chosen strikes over negotiations.

“They can stop this at any point.”



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