Newspaper for Crossmaglen, South Armagh, Newry and Down.

Strike Action will lead to ‘major disruption’ of services

Ahead of this Wednesday’s planned strike by healthcare workers, the Health and Social Care (HSC) Board has warned of “major disruption” to many services, adding that appointment cancellations and service closures will be necessary to ensure patient safety.

A statement released by the HSC organisations read: “Due to notified strike action by the RCN, UNISON, UNITE and NIPSA across the HSC on Wednesday 18th December, we are anticipating major disruption to a wide range of hospital, social care and community services on this date.

“There will also be action short of strike across many services during week commencing 16 December which will also cause disruption to many services next week.

“Patient and service user safety is of paramount importance and therefore, given the scale of strike action anticipated across all services, significant cancellations of appointments and service closures are necessary on 18 December.  All Health and Social Care organisations are continuing to work diligently to safeguard urgent and time critical care and to mitigate the effects of the disruption.”

Expecting the level of disruption to vary across individual Trust areas, the HSC said social care and community services, such as day centres and social work cover, are likely to be affected, while all hospital emergency departments will remain open and emergency ambulance response will be in place.