December 20: Who’s on strike today and how will it affect you?

Nurses and driving instructors both walk out on December 20 (Image: Metro Graphics)

Strikes have and are planned almost every day this month – Merry Christmas.

Today, up to 100,000 nursing staff are taking part in combat operations in England, Northern Ireland and Wales. The strike will last for 12 hours – from 08:00 to 20:00.

This is the second day this month nurses have walked out, after they also went to the picket lines on December 15.

On top of this, driving sensors are again down tools today after several consecutive days of action.

Some driving tests may be affected – with people urged to check the government’s website for more information.

The strike is part of national industrial action by the Public and Commercial Services (PCS) union over pay, pensions, jobs and redundancy conditions.

The nursing protests will affect 44 trusts, but the NHS said it has taken measures to operate despite labor shortages.

LONDON, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 15: Striking nurses attend the strike at St Thomas' Hospital during the national strike over pay and staffing levels on December 15, 2022 in London, UK.  (Photo: Guy Smallman/Getty Images)

Nurses have asked for a pay rise of more than 19% (Image: Getty)

Mandatory Credit: Photo by Vuk Valcic/ZUMA Press Wire/Shutterstock (13667375bf) A nurse holds a sign that reads

Nurses are also concerned about staff shortages in hospitals (Image: Shutterstock)

Most of the preparations have taken place at the local level, but nationally, hospitals with capacity have been prepared to step in to help if necessary.

The NHS has also discussed extra support from the independent sector, the voluntary sector and social care.

Hospitals will prioritize urgent and urgent care while “doing everything they can to preserve planned treatment”.

“But strike action will inevitably mean some disruption,” NHS England warned.

It said: ‘No one should delay seeking emergency care. Essential life-saving services are set to continue.

Patients whose conditions are not life-threatening are likely to experience delays in accessing emergency care in affected trusts and during ambulance strikes.

“Patients should attend as normal during the strike days. Some planned care appointments may be rescheduled.

“Hospitals will contact patients directly if their appointments need to be moved due to industrial action.”

These two days of protests are the first time members of the Royal College of Nursing (RCN) have ever staged strike action in the union’s history.

The members are striking over real pay cuts and having to operate due to a lack of staff.

They have asked for a pay rise of more than 19% to account for inflation and the financial struggles of many in the sector despite years of grueling work through the pandemic.

But the government is reluctant to approve steep rises for any sector for fear of setting a precedent that could see wage growth contribute to record inflation.

Talks aimed at averting the walk-out between the RCN and the government broke down last Monday night.

RCN’s Pat Cullen said: ‘For many of us this is our first time striking and our emotions are really mixed. The NHS is in crisis, the nursing profession can’t take it anymore, our loved ones are already suffering.

“It is not unreasonable to demand better. This is not something that can wait. We are committed to our patients and always will be.’

NHS trusts that will be affected:



Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children NHS Foundation Trust
Boys and St Thomas NHS Foundation Trust
Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust
NHS North Central London ICB
Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust

East Midlands

Kettering General Hospital NHS Foundation Trust
NHS Nottingham and Nottinghamshire ICB
Northamptonshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust
Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust
Nottinghamshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust


Cambridge University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust

Cambridgeshire and Peterborough NHS Foundation Trust
Cambridgeshire Community Services NHS Trust
Hertfordshire Community NHS Trust
NHS Hertfordshire and West Essex ICB

Royal Papworth Hospital NHS Foundation Trust


Alder Hey Children’s NHS Foundation Trust
Liverpool Heart and Chest Hospital NHS Found Trust
Liverpool University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
Liverpool Women’s NHS Foundation Trust
Mersey Care NHS Foundation Trust
Clatterbridge Cancer Center NHS Found Trust
Walton Center NHS Foundation Trust


Gateshead Health NHS Foundation Trust
Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust
Newcastle Upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

South East

Oxford Health NHS Foundation Trust
Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
Royal Berkshire NHS Foundation Trust


Devon Partnership NHS Trust
Gloucestershire Health and Care NHS Foundation Trust
Gloucestershire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
Great Western Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
NHS Bath, North East Somerset, Swindon and Wiltshire ICB (BSW Together)
NHS Devon ICB (One Devon)
NHS Gloucestershire ICB (One Gloucestershire)
North Bristol NHS Trust
Royal Devon University Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust
Royal United Hospitals Bath NHS Foundation Trust
Torbay and South Devon NHS Foundation Trust
University Hospitals Bristol and Weston NHS Foundation Trust
University Hospitals Plymouth NHS Trust

West Midlands

Birmingham Women’s and Children’s NHS Foundation Trust
Herefordshire and Worcestershire Health and Care NHS Trust
NHS Birmingham and Solihull ICB (BSol ICB)
The Royal Orthopedic Hospital NHS Foundation Trust
University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust
Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust

Yorkshire and the Humber

Bradford Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
Leeds Community Healthcare NHS Trust
Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust

National employers

NHS England

Northern Ireland

Belfast Health and Social Care Trust
Health and social enterprise Nord
Western Health and Social Care Trust
Health and social enterprise Sør
Health and social fund Sørøst


Cardiff and Vale University Health Board
Powys Teaching Local Health Board
Welsh Ambulance Services NHS Trust headquarters
Hywel Dda University Health Board
Swansea Bay University Health Board
Cwm Taf Morgannwg University Health Board
Betsi Cadwaladr University Local Health Board
Velindre NHS Trust

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