Trusts and patients hit hard by strike disruption

20 January 2023

Responding to the situation report data on procedures appointments that have been rescheduled due to industrial action, the interim chief executive of NHS Providers, Saffron Cordery said:

"This week's back-to-back strikes have hit trusts and patients hard with over 5,000 procedures and over 20,000 appointments rescheduled due to industrial action. As this dispute intensifies, patients are paying a heavy price.

"The last thing trust leaders want is for care to be disrupted and they put very careful plans in place to mitigate the impact of these strikes on patients. But this has proved incredibly challenging given the scale of this week's escalated industrial action, which caused more widespread upheaval for staff and patients than the action in December.

"Leaders across the NHS have seen first-hand how the knock on effects of a strike go well beyond the day itself. Operations and appointments are piling up and this number will continue to rise with more strikes on the horizon. While trust leaders understand why staff have reached the point of striking, the prospect of co-ordinated action by nurses and ambulance workers on 6th February is particularly daunting.

"Trust leaders and their staff are determined to drive down record care backlogs but each day of strike action and the widespread disruption it causes could derail these efforts while piling even more pressure on to already overstretched services.

"The only way to prevent more disruption, and for NHS staff to make the progress they want to on backlogs, is for the strikes to be averted. For that to happen, the government must urgently sit down with the unions to talk about pay for this financial year."