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End Of Strikes Could Boost NHS Appointment Bookings

The role of booking schedulers in the NHS is an important one to ensure that those needing operations and consultations can be fitted in and given the dates they need in a timely manner, but it may be even more so in the very near future, making their recruitment important.

Already affected by a major backlog due to Covid, many more NHS operations have been cancelled due to strikes across different sectors of the health service. However, the situation may be easing somewhat.

Although the May Bank Holiday has been affected by strike action from the Royal College of Nursing (RCN) after its members voted to reject the latest government pay offer, ministers were successful in a court action preventing it extending into the week beyond from May 2nd.

While more clearly needs to be done to secure a settlement in England, RCN members in Wales are to vote on a separate pay offer there from the Welsh Assembly government.

Elsewhere, however, agreement on pay appears close with other unions. While the RCN and Unite have rejected the NHS England five per cent pay offer, the GMB union, which represents ambulance workers and other staff, has declared in favour of the deal, with 56 per cent voting in favour.

GMB national secretary Rachel Harrison said: "Our members recognise that progress has been made - from the government originally offering nothing, health workers will be thousands of pounds better off.”

Unison, which is the largest health union of all, has also accepted the offer, as has the Royal College of Midwives.

The pressure on the NHS will not go away overnight as backlogs of appointments and operations have increased with the cancellations caused by strike action. But the more satisfactory pay agreements can be reached, the less disruption there will be, enabling booking schedulers to fit in more people to be seen and treated.

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