48 hours of strikes led by the Society of Radiographers will impact services at Hampshire Hospitals NHS Foundation trust from 8am on Tuesday 25 July to 8am on Thursday 27 July.
Over 90% of patients in the NHS will require imaging from a diagnostic radiographer. They are responsible for providing imaging services 24 hours a day, 7 days a week such as x-ray, CT, MRI, ultrasound, and breast screening.
During the industrial action, radiographers will work with the trust to provide limited imaging services only. This will ensure urgent and emergency care can continue.
Due to the limited imaging service, patients may experience longer waits to be seen in the emergency departments at Basingstoke and North Hampshire Hospital and the Royal Hampshire County Hospital in Winchester.
The Minor Injuries Unit (MIU) at Andover War Memorial Hospital will not have access to onsite imaging services during this time but will be open as normal for other needs. Patients who attend the unit through the booked appointment system via NHS 111 will be assessed by expert clinical teams and re-directed if needed.
Some outpatient appointments and planned procedures have been postponed to ensure emergency care can be provided, though every effort is being made to keep this to a minimum. Patients who have hospital appointments during this period should still attend as planned unless they have been contacted directly.
The GP walk-in referral service for chest x-rays will not be available on any of the trust’s sites during the industrial action and during this time there will be no imaging for minor injuries at Alton Community Hospital.
Some routine, non-urgent imaging for inpatients may also be postponed until after the industrial action.
Alex Whitfield, chief executive at Hampshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, said: “Our radiographer colleagues play an integral part in the care of most patients – from those coming into our emergency departments or theatres, to the patients leaving hospital and almost everyone in between.
“We are doing everything we can to plan ahead and mitigate the impact of the strike, however, we are anticipating extensive disruption across our services.
“There are steps the local community can take to help us through this challenging time, including using the right service, only attending emergency departments for life threatening or urgent needs, helping to look after loved ones and supporting them to leave hospital when they are medically fit. In an emergency always call 999.
“I want to thank our local community for their support, and our staff for their tireless efforts to keep our patients safe and our hospitals running throughout all the industrial action we have seen in recent weeks.
“We fully appreciate just how difficult the decision on whether to take industrial action is for everyone concerned."