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ICUs and high dependency units exempt from nurses’ strike action

RCN confirms that chemotherapy, dialysis, critical care units, such as intensive care and high dependency and neonatal intensive care, won’t be affected

RCN confirms that chemotherapy, dialysis, critical care units, such as intensive care and high dependency and neonatal intensive care, won’t be affected

Intensive care and high dependency units are among the areas exempt from nurse strikes later this month.

In a formal letter to NHS employers today, the RCN confirmed chemotherapy, dialysis, critical care units such as intensive care and high dependency, neonatal and paediatric intensive care will not be impacted when nurses take to the picket lines.

College taking patient safety ‘seriously’ during nurses’ strike

Urgent care services and emergency departments will not be affected by industrial action.

Other services which do not meet the college’s criteria for a ‘life-preserving care model’ during industrial

RCN confirms that chemotherapy, dialysis, critical care units, such as intensive care and high dependency and neonatal intensive care, won’t be affected

ICUs and high dependency units exempt from nurses’ strike action
Picture: Alamy

Intensive care and high dependency units are among the areas exempt from nurse strikes later this month.

In a formal letter to NHS employers today, the RCN confirmed chemotherapy, dialysis, critical care units such as intensive care and high dependency, neonatal and paediatric intensive care will not be impacted when nurses take to the picket lines.

College taking patient safety ‘seriously’ during nurses’ strike

Urgent care services and emergency departments will not be affected by industrial action.

Other services which do not meet the college’s criteria for a ‘life-preserving care model’ during industrial action could be reduced to a ‘Christmas day’ or ‘night duty’ level.

‘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’

Pat Cullen, RCN general secretary

RCN general secretary Pat Cullen the college was taking patient safety ‘seriously’.

‘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.

‘Nursing staff do not want to take this action, but ministers have chosen strikes over negotiations. They can stop this at any point.’

The RCN said any futher exceptions will be considered on a 'case by case' basis.

'It is always the employer's responsibility to maintain personal safety in their services. If an employer is not able to maintain services without striking nursing staff, employers may request additional derogrations,' an RCN spokesperson said.

Nurses are due to walk out in the biggest-ever nursing strike over pay and patient safety on 15 and 20 December.

The UK government, which offered nurses in England and Wales a 4% pay rise, has repeatedly said the RCN’s pay demands are not affordable.

Industrial action at half of the locations in England on 15 and 20 December

Nurses at almost 80 trusts and integrated care boards across England, Wales and Northern Ireland will take part in strike action on 15 and 20 December, the RCN has confirmed.

Members of the union will take industrial action at half of the locations in England where the legal threshold in the strike ballot was met. Meanwhile, there will be strike action at all but one NHS employer in Wales and throughout Northern Ireland.

In Scotland strike action has been paused while members consider the government’s ‘best and final’ pay offer of around 8%.

The Department of Health and Social Care has been contacted for comment.

The full list of employers where nurses will strike can be found here.


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