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Industrial Action

Industrial Action planned for Thursday 18th January 2024

The Southern Trust has received formal notification from a significant number of Trade Unions representing a wide range of staff groups of their intention to take industrial action on Thursday 18 January 2024.

We recognise that industrial action will take place in other public services and that there is a yellow weather warning predicted. We expect this will present additional challenges to our ability to deliver urgent and emergency care in our hospitals and community services.

The Trust has been working with Trade Unions to seek to minimise the impact of Industrial Action on patients and service users.

Whilst we are working hard to prepare and maintain safe services where we can, we expect major disruption tomorrow, and also from Friday, over the weekend and into the start of next week, as we seek to recover from the impact of strike action tomorrow.

Our message to patients and service users is that you should attend your appointment unless you are contacted by the Trust to advise otherwise.

We appeal for public support in ensuring that we are able to care for those who need us most.

Impacts to services on Thursday 18 January 2024:

Unscheduled Care Services

  • Only come to our Emergency Departmentss if you have serious symptoms that need hospital care and phone 999 if the patient is acutely unwell.
  • The Phone First service will open on Thursday 18th January from 1pm. Please phone first before travelling to our EDs with less urgent symptoms. Tel: 0300 123 3 111.
  • South Tyrone Minor Injuries Service is closed on Thursday 18th January.
  • Consider if your condition could be treated by your pharmacist or GP. If symptoms cannot wait until your GP reopens, call Out of Hours Tel: 028 3839 9201.
  • For help choosing the right service:

https://www.nidirect.gov.uk/…/how-use-your-health-services 

https://www.nidirect.gov.uk/camp…/illnesses-and-conditions

Hospital Services

  • 3046 appointments, investigations and procedures have been postponed.
  • All cancelled outpatient and inpatient/daycase appointments have been offered and/or rebooked to a future date.

Maternity Schedule Information 

  • Royal College of Midwives (RCM) strike action is in place from 8am until 12 noon.
  • You will have been contacted by the Maternity Service if your appointment has been affected.
  • For unscheduled care throughout this period – if you have any concerns about yourself or your baby, please use the telephone numbers recorded in your maternity hand held records.
  • Any midwifery appointments that had always been scheduled for Thursday afternoon will remain unaffected.

Hospital Site Catering Facilities

  • The Trust’s Catering Team will be prioritising patient meals, and consequently there will be no catering facilities across all sites available for visitors. Visitors are asked to make alternative arrangements.

Switchboards

  • There are likely to be delays in answering calls by our switchboards. Calls through switchboard will be prioritised for public calls and very urgent internal calls.

Cleaning, Porters and Laundry Services

  • There will be a reduction in a number of Support Services staff available. These services will be limited and prioritised based on supporting patient/client and staff safety.

Community Services

Day Centres and Day Opportunities

  • All Learning Disability Day Centres and Day Opportunities services are closed.

Older People’s Day Centres

All Older People’s Day Centres are closed.

Adult Mental Health

  • The Home Treatment Crisis Response Service (Trust wide) will operate a service similar to ‘Christmas Day’.

Community Nursing Services

  • Community nursing services will be operating a Christmas day level of service only.

Trust Homecare Services

  • It is anticipated that there will be a significant level of disruption to Trust’s own Homecare service provision, and that care for clients will not be delivered in many cases. The Trust is endeavouring to minimise the impact to care, however it is envisaged that a normal level of service will not be maintained.
  • Homecare services provided by our contracted agencies will not be affected.
  • Trust Homecare Service will operate as normal from Friday 19 January 2024.

Trust managed Treatment Rooms

  • Trust managed treatment rooms based at GP practices across the Trust area will close on Thursday 18 January 2024.

Union Strike details

  • Royal College of Nursing (RCN): from beginning of day shift to 1pm
  • Royal College of Midwives (RCM): 8am – Noon
  • Society of Radiographers: 8am – 8pm
  • British Orthoptic Society (BOS): One day strike
  • UNISON, NIPSA, UNITE, Chartered Society of Physiotherapists (CSP), British Dietetics Association (BDA), GMB : 24 hours (00.01am – 23.59pm)

Click here to see our Joint Statement from Chief Executives of Health and Social Care Trusts on Strike Action

  • 21 and 22 September 2023

    We anticipate widespread disruption as a result of industrial action by members of NIPSA, UNISON, Unite, Society of Radiographers (SOR), Chartered Society of Physiotherapy (CSP) and Royal College of Midwives (RCM) on Thursday 21 and Friday 22 September 2023.

    Click here to read Department of Health statement

    The safety of our patients and staff remains our top priority. Whilst strike action will end at Friday midnight, the impact is likely to be felt on all of our services into the weekend.

    We apologise for the inconvenience this will cause patients, service users and families.

    • Urgent Care Centre / Phone First / Emergency Departments

    Please be aware that our hospitals, like the wider health care system, are extremely busy. Our Emergency Departments at Craigavon Area Hospital and Daisy Hill Hospital remain open however it is expected that they will be under pressure with long waits expected. Where possible, individuals should avoid attendance unless they feel they are in need of urgent attention.

    Please ‘Phone First’ before travelling to our EDs or Minor Injuries (9am – 9pm) on 0300 123 3111.

    • Discharges

    There are also significant numbers of patients in beds in our wards who are medically fit for discharge. We are asking for public support to help ensure that the sickest patients get the care they need. It is essential that patients leave hospital when they are discharged by the doctor and that families take their loved one home as soon as they are medically fit.

    • Outpatients appointments and surgery

    Where cancellations have been necessary, patients will have been notified directly.

    If you have an appointment at one of our hospitals or any of our community facilities, please attend unless you hear from us.

    • Impact on other Trust services

    There is some disruption to provision on day care services. Families have been notified of this in advance.

    Domiciliary care services will be affected however Trust Home Care have been in touch with families and carers in relation to any impact on care.

  • March and April 2023

    Current Planned Industrial Action – March and April 2023

    • UNISON will take full strike action on Friday 31 March from 00:01 am – 11:59 pm
    • Planned strike action on Monday 3 April by RCM, UNISON and NIPSA has been paused.

    The message to patients and service users remains that they should attend any planned appointments unless contacted by the Trust to advise otherwise.

    We apologise for the inconvenience this will cause patients, service users and families. Any disruption will be communicated here.

    • CYSP
      • 14 cancelled appointments
      • 8 respite shifts cancelled within the CCN service
      • 6 Community Dental Service GA appointments

    Cancelled appointments will be rebooked as soon as possible

    • Acute
      • 112 outpatient appointments cancelled
      • 6 Elective surgeries cancelled

    Cancelled appointments will be rebooked as soon as possible

    • ACS
      • *UPDATE* With the pause on planned strike action on Monday 3 April by RCM, UNISON and NIPSA, dom care calls will be proceeding as normal. 
      • 205 referrals across Access and Information, Acute Care at Home and within Integrated Care Teams not going ahead.
      • Treatment Rooms impacted
      • District Nursing Teams will be operating essential and urgent calls only
      • Domiciliary Care will be working on a reduced basis
    • MHD
      • Woodlawn House closed
      • Day Opportunities and Forensic Day Opportunities closed
      • Limited Day Care service
      • 10 appointments/referrals cancelled  and 90 not booked in anticipation of strike
    • Support Services
      • All staff Dining Rooms closed
      • Post Room at CAH and St Luke’s closed.
      • Reduced level of cleaning and delivery of linen.

    There may be reduced outpatient reception cover or in other areas of admin.

  • 21 February 2023

    Acute

    • Our Emergency Departments at Craigavon Area Hospital and Daisy Hill Hospital remain open however it is expected that they will be under pressure with long waits expected. Where possible, individuals should avoid attendance unless they feel they are in need of urgent attention.
    • Pharmacy services will be working on a reduced service.
    • 171 outpatient appointments cancelled across Craigavon, Daisy Hill and St Luke’s sites.
    • 17 day cases cancelled while eight were not booked in anticipation of strike action
    • 24 surgeries cancelled

     

    Children’s Services:

    • Children’s Community Nursing – four respite shifts cancelled
    • Two Autism service appointments cancelled and in process of being rebooked.

     

    Adult Community Services:

    • Domiciliary care provided by the Trust Home Care Service is expected to be affected.
    • Reablement and Access and information service are affected
    • Crozier Lodge Day Centre and Donard Day Centre are closed, with additional day having bene offered in lieu where possible to reduce impact.
    • District Nursing treatment rooms will either be closed or have reduced staffing levels.

     

    Mental Health and Learning Disability

    • Day Opportunities and Forensic Day Opportunities groups will be closed
    • Six service users short break delayed by 48 hours
    • Day Care closed
    • 26 cancelled appointments across mental health and disability division
  • 26 January 2023

    Children’s Services  

    • Children’s Community Nursing Service (CCN) – 12 respite visits cancelled, 1 school visit cancelled, 2 night shift respites starting later and 5 routine blood clinic appointments cancelled
    • Autism Services – 5 routine appointments cancelled
    • Speech and Language therapy – 18 appointments cancelled

    Acute Services

    • 22 outpatient appointments cancelled
    • 23 surgery cancelled
    • A number of elective caesarean appointments have been rescheduled for another date
    • Laboratory staff will operate with capacity only for urgent samples.
    • Pharmacy staff will operate a bank holiday service arrangement.

    Mental Health and learning Disability

    • All Learning Disability Day centres closed

    Adult Community Services

      • There is disruption to services across ACS including District Nursing, Integrated Care Service (ICS) and Acute Care at Home
      • A total of 241 outpatient appointments have been cancelled, 233 are not going ahead due to reduced staffing
      • Domiciliary care provided by the Trust Home Care Service is expected to be affected. Whilst we will aim to attend our most vulnerable service users, we will not know the full impact of strike action until Thursday and we ask that you are patient as we work through this. We are appealing to families to make alternative arrangements where they can.
  • 20th December 2022

    Tuesday 20th December will be communicated here:

    • The Phone First service will not be operational however will reopen at 9am on Wednesday 21st December.
    • The Minor Injuries Service at South Tyrone Hospital is also closed however will reopen at 9am on Wednesday 21st December.
    • Outpatients – 204 outpatients appointments have been cancelled. A number of outpatients appointments have not been booked in anticipation of the strike action across our Acute, Maternity and Older People and Primary Care Divisions.
    • 28 Day cases and 9 inpatients cancelled
    • Children’s and Young People’s Services: Pre-school immunisation clinic: cancelled and 22 New routine appointments cancelled.
    • 448 appointments are also not going ahead due to services retracted to Christmas Day levels within our Older People and Primary Care division.
    • PMHC: 3 reviews and 1 urgent reviews rescheduled.

    Our Emergency Departments at Craigavon Area Hospital and Daisy Hill Hospital remain open however it is expected that they will be under pressure with long waits expected. Where possible, individuals should avoid attendance unless they feel they are in need of urgent attention.

    We are currently in the process of making direct contact with our patients and service users, who will be impacted by strike action.  If you have not been contacted please assume that your care will proceed as planned.  We sincerely regret this disruption and would ask for your patience and cooperation at this challenging time.

  • 15th December 2022
    • The Phone First service will not be operational however will reopen at 9am on Friday 16 December.
    • The Minor Injuries Service at South Tyrone Hospital is also closed however will reopen at 9am on Friday 16 December.
    • Outpatients – 183 outpatients appointments have been cancelled. A number of outpatients appointments have not been booked in anticipation of the strike action across our Acute, Maternity and Older People and Primary Care Divisions.
    • 20 Day cases and 4 inpatients cancelled
    • 317 appointments are also not going ahead due to services retracted to Christmas Day levels within our Older People and Primary Care division.
    • PMHC: 30 reviews and 3 urgent reviews rescheduled
  • 12th December 2022
    • Approximately 300 outpatient appointments have been postponed across our hospitals. Where possible, new appointments have already been allocated or will be allocated shortly.
    • 50 inpatient and day case procedures postponed across our hospitals.
    • All Older People’s Day Centres and Learning Disability Day Centres will be closed.
    • Dining Rooms and Coffee Bars will be closed to ensure patients and service user meals are prioritised.
    • We are aware that approximately 700 service users in receipt of homecare may not receive their scheduled calls, if it is delivered by the Trust’s Home Care Service.   We are asking for the help of family members and carers to assist us on Monday 12th December.  Homecare delivered by our contracted providers are not expected to be affected.
  • December 2022
    • Monday 5 December to Sunday 11 December 2022
      Unison, NIPSA and GMB will take action short of strike

     

    • Monday 12 December 2022
      Unison, NIPSA and GMB will take full strike action
      Unison, NIPSA and GMB will take action short of strike

     

    • Monday 12 December to Sunday 18 December 2022
      NIPSA will take action short of strike

     

    • Thursday 15 December 2022
      RCN will take full strike action

     

    • Monday 19 December 2022
      Unison and NIPSA will take action short of strike

     

    • Tuesday 20 December 2022
      RCN will take full strike action

     

    • Tuesday 20 December to Sunday 1 January 2023
      NIPSA will take action short of strike