Business as usual at GP surgeries and four main hospitals

GP surgeries in the West Midlands will likely be unaffected by upcoming strike action by nurses across the country – due to how the NHS system works.

The Royal College of Nursing (RCN) confirmed practices were not balloted for industrial action across the UK – the first in the union's 106-year history.

It is due to the fact many GP surgeries are not directly employed by the NHS and are self-employed, essentially in the same vain as any small business is.

They have to cover the costs of buildings, heating, lighting and staff including nurses, and act as independent contractors working under contract for the NHS.

The RCN deemed them as "not NHS employers" – highlighting a complexity within the healthcare service – as they reassured people they will likely not be impacted.

The majority of the disruption will come in certain hospitals across the region, including in specialist sites. Nurses at Good Hope Hospital, Heartlands Hospital and Solihull Hospital are striking alongside staff at the major Queen Elizabeth Hospital – each of which fall under a single NHS trust.

And the industrial action will impact the Birmingham Children's Hospital and Birmingham Women's Hospital – two well-known and specialist sites in the region.

However, it seems the majority of hospitals in the region will be unaffected by the strike due to some organisations not meeting the legal turnout thresholds.

Four of the area's biggest hospital trusts covering Wolverhampton, Walsall, Sandwell and Dudley are absent from the full list of where industrial action will happen.

It means it is business as usual for Wolverhampton's New Cross Hospital, Walsall Manor Hospital, Sandwell General Hospital and Russells Hall Hospital in Dudley.

But it will affect the Midlands Partnership NHS Foundation Trust which provides physical and mental health services across Staffordshire, Stoke-on-Trent and Shropshire.

The likes of St George's Hospital in Stafford, The Redwoods Centre in Shrewsbury, and other locations run by the trust in the area could likely be impacted by the action.

Meanwhile nurses, have voted to strike at trusts which run The Royal Orthopaedic Hospital in Birmingham and the Kidderminster Hospital and Treatment Centre in the town.

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