Tuesday, 29 November 2011

NHS Highland reassures patients and public about planned Industrial Action

NHS Highland has confirmed today that plans are fully in place to cope with the 24 hour Industrial Action planned from 00.01 hr on Wednesday 30th November.

Elaine Mead, Chief Executive for NHS Highland said: “Our priority at all times is to ensure we run a safe service including running emergency services. We would like to remind and reassure patients and the wider public that we have robust plans in place to meet all emergency services and our core clinical services. Our Core services will run as normal and includes cancer treatments, renal dialysis, emergency mental health and maternity services.

“We respect the right of our colleagues to take industrial action. They also have a right to picket during industrial action. Our Trade Union representatives have been cooperating with Senior Managers to make sure that any picket lines are located safely and conducted in line with relevant guidance.

“I would like to stress that any patient who has been asked to still attend for a scheduled appointment on Wednesday 30th should make sure that they do come in and attend. Staff taking strike action will not be picketing patients nor seeking to disrupt essential emergency services. “

Ray Stewart, NHS Highland Joint Trade Union Chair said “People attending many hospital services should expect to see our members picketing but they should not worry about this at all. Our briefing to pickets has been clear and that is to treat all members of the public and staff with respect.”

As part of NHS Highland’s Business Continuity Plans across the Board area a limited service will be run in hospitals. This means that to maintain safe services most non urgent activity including most outpatient clinics, day surgery and elective surgery has had to be postponed.

Planning has already begun to ensure that any patient who has had to be cancelled will be re-booked in a timely manner as a matter of priority.