How will the NHS strikes affect my cancer treatment?

There have been multiple nursing strikes over the past few months and junior doctors in England are scheduled to strike in July too.  

You might be concerned about how this could affect your cancer treatment. You can find out more about what strikes are and how this could impact you on the pages below. 

What’s a strike?

A strike, sometimes also called ‘industrial action’, is when people refuse to work for their employer.    

This happens because the group are in a disagreement with their employers, and they haven’t been able to solve the issue with negotiations (conversations).  

Who is striking in the NHS? 

There were nursing strikes at the end of 2022 and some days at the beginning of 2023. Nursing strikes are currently on hold while the Royal College of Nursing (RCN) represents nurses in these talks. These conversations will also inform next steps in Northern Ireland. Revised NHS pay offers have been made in Wales and Scotland.  

The British Medical Association (BMA) have announced that junior doctors will be striking in England in March. 

Why are there strikes happening in the NHS? 

It’s not an easy decision for anyone to make to go ahead with strike action.  

Nurses have been striking about the amount they are paid and the difficult circumstances they have to work in. They have asked the government for higher wages and support. 

Junior doctors will be striking over pay too. They are asking for a pay increase. This is to make up for the fact they haven’t had pay increases in line with inflation since 2008.   

How will the strikes affect my care? 

Wherever you’re being treated the safety of patients is always the most important thing. During any NHS strikes life-preserving services will carry on.      

If you want to understand about how the strike might affect your treatment specifically you should speak to your care team who will be able to advise what’s happening at your local hospital. 

You can find out more about how the nursing and junior doctors’ strikes might impact you below.