Disruption on Wednesday28th November 2011
Hospital bosses are making plans to delay thousands of non-critical operations because of strike action over pensions by public sector workers.
Many patients in the UK have been sent letters to warn them about the strike and the disruption it will cause.
Hospitals have said emergency care will not be disrupted, although diagnostic and outpatient appointments will be postponed.
Around 400,000 nurses, paramedics and support staff are estimated to be taking strike action on 30 November.
The Department of Health stated that it expected a minimum of 5,500 non-critical procedures to be rescheduled because of the action.
Over 40,000 outpatient appointments will be rearranged and over 12,000 patients will have their diagnostic tests rescheduled.
Health Secretary, Andrew Lansley, said health service staff should think about how their actions affected patients.
"I would ask staff to consider carefully whether going on strike is the right thing to do," he said.
Unison's head of health Christina Nacanea said: "Most of them [health service staff] will first and foremost ensure that there is adequate cover is in place and that patients' safety is not compromised."
"But by the same token they will be wanting to demonstrate their opposition to what the government is trying do to their pensions."
The British Medical Association, the Royal College of Nursing and the Royal College of Midwives are not participating in the strike.
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Title: Disruption on Wednesday
Author: Jess Laurence
Article Id: 20439
Date Added: 28th Nov 2011