What you need to know: nurses strike on 30 April - 2 May 2023
The 48-hour strike will involve nursing staff working in emergency departments, intensive care units, cancer care and other services that were previously exempt.
The Royal College of Nursing (RCN) and government are in dispute about the timings of the strikes but for operational purposes, the NHS must plan for strikes to go ahead.
The government on Monday announced it will take legal action against the Royal College of Nursing (RCN), over its planned 48-hour strike.
Health Secretary Steve Barclay has written to RCN leaders claiming their plans for industrial action "go beyond the mandate you secured from your members."
In a statement released on Twitter on Monday evening, Mr Barclay said he had “no choice but to proceed with legal action” against the RCN.
“Following a request from NHS Employers I am regretfully applying to the High Court to declare the Royal College of Nursing’s planned strike action on May 2 unlawful.
“Despite attempts by my officials to resolve the situation with the RCN over the weekend, I have been left with no choice but to proceed with legal action."
More information and updates to follow.
Meanwhile the NHS is asking patients to choose services appropriately during these strikes and to take simple steps to help ensure care is available to patients who need it most.
In a statement Royal Berkshire NHS Trust have said:
“As a Trust our priority is to provide safe care for our patients. And we have plans in place to deal with any changes to our services. We are working with the RCN to make sure we can provide emergency and urgent services to patients on these days.
To allow us to do this, we may need to reschedule some routine and non-urgent appointments and procedures, and if that’s the case we will contact you directly in advance to re-arrange your date. If you do not hear from us, you should come in as planned.
Emergency Departments are for medical emergencies only, to help those most in need.
An emergency is if somebody is seriously ill or injured and their life is at risk like: a heart attack, stroke, having difficulty breathing, or a seizure.
If you need medical help but it's not an emergency, then the Urgent Care Centre in the Broad Street Mall, Reading (RG1 7QE) is open from 8am-8pm seven days a week.
Your local Pharmacy or GP are also there to help with non-emergency care. If you’re not sure where to get support, contact NHS 111 who will give you advice.”
Healthwatch will update this page with new information as it comes in.
Share your views about the strike action and/or share your experience of healthcare during the strikes here.