NURSES at Airedale General Hospital in Steeton will not be taking part in strikes due to take on Thursday and again on Tuesday next week (December 20).

Yesterday, it was confirmed the first ever strike action by the Royal College of Nursing (RCN) would take place across England, Wales and Northern Ireland following the break-down of talks with the health secretary Steve Barclay.

The Airedale NHS Foundation Trust said although its nurses would not be striking, there could be an impact and urged people to come to the hospital’s Accident and Emergency Department only when necessary.

A trust spokesperson said: “Our nurses are not striking as part of the Royal College of Nursing action. However, we may be affected by the results of other ballots by trade unions so we are working through our planning with the focus on keeping disruption to a minimum.

“We, along with all trusts nationally, are extremely busy, and have seen very high numbers of patients in our Accident and Emergency (A&E) departments.

“We have to prioritise our sickest patients so we apologise to anyone who has had a long wait for treatment.

“It remains the case that some people could be treated appropriately elsewhere. Members of the public can help by making sure that if they do choose to come to A&E for treatment, that it is the best place for them to go to get the right care.

“A&E is for accidents and emergencies only, such as severe chest pain, difficulty breathing, significant head injuries and broken bones. Using an alternative to A&E when you aren’t seriously ill such as going to, calling NHS 111, seeing your GP or visiting your pharmacist, could mean that you end up waiting less time to receive care.

“We are currently seeing a number of understandably concerned parents with their children in A&E paediatrics and would urge them to look at the following website for helpful guidance about the signs and symptoms of Strep A and scarlet fever:"