As a result of strike action in England, most medical appointments involving Manx patients in hospitals there have been cancelled.

The Royal College of Nursing (RCN), the largest nursing union in the UK, will stage a walkout today, Tuesday, December 20.

A Manx Care spokesperson said: ‘Most of the hospitals that Manx Care refers patients to (i.e. those in Merseyside and Cheshire) have voted for industrial action, so most planned appointments and procedures have been cancelled on days where there is action planned.’

Patients were informed by their respective hospitals and as a result Manx Care has seen ‘almost no patients require patient transfer’.

A Manx Care spokesperson added: ‘Emergency pathways are still available should a patient need urgent treatment in the UK during the current strike action.’

The Royal College of Nursing also went on strike last Thursday, December 15.

The RCN says: ‘Strike action is a last resort. But it can be a powerful tool for change.

‘Unfairly low pay in our profession is driving chronic understaffing. It puts patients at risk and leaves nursing staff overworked, underpaid and undervalued.’

The RCN has not yet reached a deal with Manx Care yet over a rise in pay for the nurses represented by the union in the island.