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  • Writer's pictureHealthwatch Reading

July NHS strikes; all the latest and how this effects Reading locals

Updated: Jul 13, 2023

The biggest NHS strikes to date start on Thursday 13 July unless there is a breakthrough in staff pay disputes between the British Medical Association, other unions and the government. Reading locals could now also face delays to x-rays, scans and cancer treatment when radiographers strike for 48 hours.

Scheduled strikes:

Thursday 13 July - Tuesday 18 July (starting at 7 am)

Junior doctors and hospital dental trainees will strike for five days. This means the cancellation of planned care as consultants step in to cover junior doctors' workload.

Junior doctors make up around half of all doctors in the NHS. Junior doctors are qualified doctors who have anywhere up to eight years of experience working as hospital doctor, depending on their speciality, or up to three years in general practice.

Thursday 20 July and Friday 21 July

Consultant hospital doctors and dentists will strike take action, although to a ‘Christmas Day’ level of service in which they will still provide medical cover for emergency patients.

Tuesday 25 July – Thursday 27 July (starting at 8am)

In separate strike action announced by by the Society of Radiographers, Radiographers will bt taking strike action, potentially affecting patients’ X-rays and scans.

Future strikes TBC

A ballot of junior doctor members of the British Medical Association is also taking place to seek a fresh mandate for more industrial action, as the current one ends late August.

What is Healthwatch doing?

Healthwatch England is due to meet NHS England on Tuesday 11 July to check contingency plans for the upcoming strike action.

Healthwatch Reading will keep you updated with the latest local and national information as it comes in on this news page, and across our social media channels.

How do the strikes affect me and/or my family?

Will emergency care be affected on strike days? Emergency care will continue to be available across Berkshire. It is essential that in emergency and life-threatening cases – when someone is seriously ill or their life is at risk, patients continue to come forward as normal.

What if I need urgent or emergency care? Anyone who needs urgent care should use NHS111 online or call NHS 111 to be assessed and directed to the right care for them.

When someone is seriously ill or injured and their life is at risk, you should seek emergency care in the normal way, by calling 999 or attending A&E.

The NHS.UK website has more information on when to call 999 and when to go to A&E.

What if I have an appointment on a strike day? Royal Berkshire NHS Foundation has said on their website “Services may be affected. We'll contact patients if your appointment is rescheduled.”

This means everyone who has an appointment should attend as planned unless your NHS provider has contacted you to reschedule. If you have not been contacted, please attend your appointment even if your NHS Trust is affected by strikes.

GP practices will continue to be open during the junior doctors' strike. Please continue to attend your GP and dental appointments, unless you are contacted and told otherwise.

When will I find out if my appointment is rescheduled? The NHS will contact you if your appointment needs to be rescheduled due to strike action. This is likely to be a letter or phone call, and you should be offered an alternative date for your appointment. If we have not contacted you, please attend your appointment as planned.

Is there anything I should do now? No, the NHS will contact you if your appointment needs to be rescheduled due to strike action.

Should I cancel my appointment on the day of strikes? No, if you have not been contacted, please attend your appointment as planned.

Where can I go for more information?

For more information on July’s upcoming industrial action, please click here to access NHS England's Q&A.

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