Welcome to the Norfolk and Waveney ICS Workforce page
Here we will provide the latest important information and updates for our workforce across the Norfolk and Waveney Integrated Care system.
Industrial Action 2022 /23
The British Medical Association (BMA) has announced that junior doctors and consultants will undertake four days of joint industrial action in England across September and October.
Senior consultants will take part in strike action from 7am on 19th and 20th September and 2nd, 3rd and 4th October.
Junior doctors will strike, from 7am on 20th, 21st, 22nd September, and 2nd, 3rd, 4th October.
These strikes will impact both routine and emergency care.
For the latest information, please click here.
Message from our Executive Medical Director, Dr. Frankie Swords
Our key focus is on providing safe care for patients who need urgent and emergency services, and those receiving inpatient care in our hospitals. We will continue to provide the following services, some of which may be at a reduced level.
We are urging patients to choose services wisely and take simple steps to help ensure care is available to patients who need it most. This includes using 111 online as the first port of call for health needs and continuing to only use 999 if it is a life-threatening emergency.
Regardless of any strike action taking place, it is really important that patients who need urgent medical care continue to come forward as normal, especially in emergency and life-threatening cases – when someone is seriously ill or injured, or their life is at risk.
If we have not contacted you, please attend your appointment as planned. The NHS will contact you if your appointment needs to be rescheduled due to strike action.
Please continue to attend your GP and dental appointments, unless you are contacted and told otherwise.
During industrial action, we need to reduce the number of appointments we have planned to ensure we have safe levels of staffing. We are contacting patients directly if this means that their appointment will need to be postponed. We understand how disappointing and concerning this will be for those waiting for treatment and we are very sorry this is the case. We will re-arrange these appointments as quickly as possible. If you do not hear from us please attend your appointment as planned.
If you need medical care
If you need medical care or advice, please call the NHS 111 helpline, or visit NHS 111 Online.
Please contact NHS 111 if:
- You need medical help fast, but it’s not a 999 emergency.
- You don’t know who to call for medical help or you don’t have a GP to call.
- You think you need to go to A&E or another NHS urgent care service; or.
- You require health information or reassurance about what to do next.
Industrial action at this scale and pace across the NHS is unprecedented, however, we are working with partners across the Norfolk and Waveney ICS to ensure there is minimal disruption to patient care and that emergency services can continue to operate as normal.
Click on a question below to reveal the answer:
What is an action strike ballot?
An industrial action strike ballot is a vote by members of a trade union on whether to take strike action. The ballot, and any industrial action that follows, must comply with specific legal requirements. There are strict thresholds that need to be met before industrial action can be taken. In England, at least 50% of all members eligible to vote at each individual NHS Employer must vote in the ballot. In addition, if the majority of members are engaged in important public services, then 40% of all members eligible to vote at each individual NHS Employer must vote in favour of industrial action.
What is industrial action?
There are two types of industrial action, strike and action short of a strike. A strike is the complete withdrawal of labour from the workplace for a period of time, normally a day or two or even half a day, but this can be longer depending on the dispute.
Action short of a strike can come in many forms but it is usually working strictly to the terms of the contract of employment. This is sometimes called “working to rule”, an example of such tactics could be for an individual to take all of their contractual breaks and / or starting/finishing shifts strictly on time and / or refusing to undertake paid or unpaid overtime.
When will industrial strike action take place?
The law in England requires any industrial strike action to take place within six months of the close of industrial action strike ballot. Action could be either Continuous industrial strike action, which is when two or more strike days occur consecutively, with no working days in between or Discontinuous strike action which is when strike days are not consecutive. For example, if three separate strike days were spread over a month, there would be working days between the three strike days.
Who can take part in strike action?
Only members of a union who have balloted members and received support for strike action in accordance with the legal requirements can strike. In this case only those union members who are employed on Agenda for Change terms by an NHS employer can strike. NHS Employers for the purposes of industrial strike action are those organisations listed in Annex 1 to the NHS terms and Conditions of Service handbook. This includes the ICB but does not include NHS Professionals who are not an NHS Employer because the organisation is not listed in Annex 1.
Only members of a union who are on duty for an NHS employer on a strike day can strike, employees who are on long-term sick, maternity leave etc cannot strike.
Will GP services be affected on strike days?
GP services will be running as normal on strike days. Please continue to attend scheduled GP appointments.
Should I cancel my appointment on the day of strikes?
No, if we have not contacted you, please attend your appointment as planned.
What is considered an emergency?
Patients should only call 999 if seriously ill or injured, or there is risk to life. Ambulances will be dispatched where clinically appropriate.
If my appointment is rescheduled, will I be put back to the bottom of the waiting list?
Any appointments that need to be rescheduled will be done so as a priority.
Patient safety to be maintained – Norfolk and Waveney ICS Statement
While pay is a matter for Government and the trade unions, Norfolk and Waveney Integrated Care System value our staff and want to see a resolution as soon as possible to ensure we can continue to focus on delivering patient care to all those who need it.
Our NHS organisations have tried and tested plans in place to manage any disruption, including industrial action, and will do everything we can to go ahead with planned procedures, especially for patients in greatest clinical need.
We are working closely with union colleagues and we will be contacting patients direct if appointments are affected by industrial action.
We want to reassure the public that patients should continue to come forward for emergency services as normal and we are committed to keeping disruption in these services to a minimum.
NHSE have stated negotiations will take place at a national level as well as a local level which will provide a clearer picture of how services would be able to operate on days of strike action.
It is viewed by both unions and employers that the key is to maintain patient safety and to decide which services must continue to prevent patients being put at risk.