How will the NHS strikes affect my cancer treatment?

There have been multiple NHS strikes in 2023 - nurses, junior doctors and consultants have all been on strike. Junior doctors are scheduled to strike again in December 2023 and January 2024.  

You might be concerned about how these strikes 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? 

Currently strikes planned for junior doctors in England from 7am on the 20th December to 7am on the 23rd December 2023. They will strike again from 7am on the 3rd January to 7am on the 9th January 2024.    

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 were striking earlier in 2023 about the amount they are paid and the difficult circumstances they have to work in. They 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.   

Consultants have been striking to campaign for better pay for consultants now but also to make sure this better level of pay continues in the future. 

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 strikes might impact you below.