Planned industrial action, 30 April – 1 May 2023

The Royal College of Nursing (RCN) has confirmed that some nurses will be taking part in a strike from 08:00pm on Sunday 30 April until midnight on Monday 1 May.

Within the Suffolk and north east Essex system, it will mean industrial action will take place at Ipswich, Colchester and West Suffolk Hospitals. If you are booked for an appointment, procedure or operation during these days and it needs to be postponed, the NHS will contact you to confirm this and a new date will be arranged for you.  If no one has contacted you, please attend your appointment as planned.

Patients who need urgent medical care during strike action should continue to come forward as normal, especially when someone is seriously ill or injured, or their life is at risk.

GP services are not impacted by this strike action. Please continue to attend your GP appointments, unless you are contacted and told otherwise.  On strike action days, patients should only call 999 if it is a medical or mental health emergency.  Where the situation is not life threatening, alternative support will be available through NHS111.

Letter to nursing colleagues

Please see below a letter to all nursing colleagues from Lisa Nobes, Chief Nurse NHS Suffolk and North East Essex.

Dear colleague,

On behalf of the Suffolk and north east Essex health system, I wanted to express my support to all nursing colleagues at this particularly challenging time for our profession.

It is never an easy decision to make, having to decide whether to take strike action or not. It is difficult for those colleagues who find themselves working during periods of industrial action and difficult for those who feel compelled to withdraw their labour. Colleagues have a right to strike, and I understand and respect their reasons for doing so. My position is to offer my support to all colleagues.

However, I am also proud to see so many staff – in clinical and non-clinical settings – who continue to help our patients on days of strike action and ensure impacted services are kept running for those most in need. As a system, we continue to do everything in our power to prevent harm or minimise disruption to our patients.

My final message is to reiterate the importance of staying kind to each other. These are times of continuing and unprecedented pressure, not just on our system but also on us as individuals.

Thank you again for all that you do for each other and for the people and communities you serve.

Kind regards,

Lisa Nobes
Chief Nurse
NHS Suffolk and North East Essex