Planning for Society of Radiographers industrial action

Classification: Official
Publication reference: PRN00617


  • Integrated care boards (ICBs)
    • chief executives
    • chief operating officers
    • chairs
    • chief people officers/HR directors
  • Trusts:
    • chief executives
    • chief operating officers
    • chief people officers/HR directors
    • directors of nursing
    • heads of EPRR
    • chief AHPs


  • Regional:
    • directors
    • directors of nursing
    • heads of EPRR
    • chief AHPs

Dear Colleagues,

Industrial Action – Society of Radiographers (SoR) 08:00 Tuesday 25 July to 08:00 Thursday 27 July 2023: Pre-action self-assessment, rescheduled activity, and workforce data collections

This letter provides information regarding NHS England’s approach to pre-action self assessment and situational reporting of workforce and rescheduled activity impacts of the industrial action announced by The Society of Radiographers (SoR) across a number of NHS trusts from 08:00 on Tuesday 25 July to 08:00 on Thursday 27 July 2023.

Pre-action self-assessment – ICB requirement

Ahead of industrial action, NHS England is requesting that NHS England Regional teams work with ICBs to report confidence in the radiography service provision in their area.

The Excel self-assessment template sets out questions to capture the likely impact of action by the SoR.

A list of trusts where the SoR ballots were successful can be found here on the NHS Employers website.

The self-assessment return should be informed by dialogue with trusts and ICBs, understanding of plans at trust level, as well as ICB- and network-level preparations.

We will use the information to identify risk areas for escalation or further guidance, to guide our conversations with trade unions and the Government, and to focus our support for systems. The template is enclosed with this letter.

Pre-action self-assessment – planning assumptions and limitations

Each NHS England region is asked to co-ordinate completion of the template, as it sees fit (either directly based on intelligence from meetings with ICBs and trusts, or by collating returns from affected ICBs or trusts).

Templates should be completed based on the SoR’s definition of ‘Christmas Day’ service levels, as outlined on their website, and the SoR’s stated commitments to preservation of ‘life and limb’ services.

The SoR’s chosen operational model is for derogations to be confirmed at a local rather than national level. What is deemed to be covered, as per Christmas Day will be agreed, through discussion, between SoR members, the local union representatives, and the trust.

The SoR has also confirmed to NHS England their commitment to recall of staff in the event of unexpected declared major incidents, in line with arrangements for strike action by other staff groups. Definitions and further detail to support planning is available here Industrial Action Toolkit | SoR.

Regions, ICBs and trusts should plan based on realistic local assumptions for the level of clinical cover to be available on the strike days and progression of local derogation discussions with SoR representatives, clinical and operational management, and staff.

Planning should also consider the impact of and recovery from junior doctor and consultant industrial action, particularly in relation to staff fatigue.

Pre-action self-assessment – timings and deadlines

Due to the unprecedented nature of near continuous industrial action over several days, it is necessary to conduct assurance for the SoR members’ strike during the course of the strike action by consultants, to enable risks to be identified and acted upon in a timely manner.

The region-led approach to this assurance has been designed to help minimise the burden upon individual trusts and ICBs and allow completion of the template using intelligence from existing local conversations and meetings.

Should trusts or ICBs need to provide written input, they will be informed of the regional submission date and time by their NHS England regional office. This timing will be aligned to ensure the region has time for review returns ahead of submission to the National Operations Centre (NOC).

The submission to regions will therefore be ahead of the national submission, due at 10:00 on Friday 21 July.

Pre-action self-assessment – Regional role

Initial verbal feedback as to trust and ICB readiness, based on conversations to date, will be received from NHS England regional representatives at 10:00 on Wednesday 19 July at the NHS England Industrial Action Working Group.

A written submission will then be required to confirm the overall assurance position for each region ahead of action, including highlighting any closed or relocated services and impacts in terms of staffing cover and risk. The deadline for submission of the template to the NOC will be at 10:00 on Friday 21 July.

Regional Allied Health Professional (AHP) and EPRR teams are asked to consult with ICBs and trusts to ensure a comprehensive and accurate picture of local preparations and to identify service and geographical areas of concern.

Where ICBs or trusts indicate there are trusts or services of concern, NHSE regional teams should ensure adequate detail is included in their return. Regional EPRR teams are asked to complete the pre-action self-assessment to provide a regional overview and to send this to the NOC.

Workforce and rescheduled activity situation report (SitRep) data collections

NHS England will conduct two SitRep data collections via the Strategic Data Collection Service (SDCS):

  1. Industrial Action workforce SitRep. This will collect numbers of staff taking part in the industrial action, and total numbers of staff due to be at work. The collection will be open for affected organisations where staff will be taking part in IA.
    All trusts involved are requested to submit data, even if it is a nil return. The template for this can be found in Annex A.

    This collection will run on one occasion – on Friday 28 July (to cover SoR action from 08:00 on Tuesday 25 July to 08:00 on Thursday 27 July 2023).

  2. Industrial Action rescheduled activity SitRep. This will collect information on activity that has been rescheduled because of the SoR industrial action alone.
    The collection will be open for affected acute, community and mental health trusts and will request the figures of rescheduled activity for the 3-day period of 25 – 27 July inclusive.
    All affected organisations are requested to submit data, even if it is a nil return. The template for
    this can be found in Annex B. Guidance for completion is provided as Annex D.

    This collection will run on one occasion – on Friday 28 July to provide final figures for the impacts of the industrial action by SoR. Given the data collection planned for 24 July, following the conclusion of BMA, HCSA and BDA action, there will be no requirement for pre-action estimates of impact, to reduce burden upon trusts.

    We ask that, in the collection on 28 July, affected organisations only include rescheduled activity arising from the radiographers’ action (so do not include rescheduled activity relating to the junior doctor or consultant IA, which should have been included in the rescheduled collections for that IA being run on 7, 12, 19 and 24 July).

SitRep data collections – dates, timing, and guidance

Highlights of the data collected in both the rescheduled and workforce collections on 28 July will be published on NHS England’s website and used for both internal and media reporting. Therefore it is important that an accurate submission is received from every affected organisation. For both collections, the window will close at 13:00 on 28 July and will not be reopened.

Submissions will be made through the SDCS platform. The collection will open at 09:00 on 28 July and the deadline for submission will be 13:00 that day. The template will be available to download from SDCS from 09:00. Missing returns will be highlighted to Regional Chief Operating Officers for follow-up.

A schedule highlighting which data will be collected on each date is included at Annex C.

More detailed guidance notes will be shared with those registered as submitters in SDCS ahead of the collection. An extract can be found in Annex D. If you have any questions, please contact your regional team.

Many thanks for your continued co-operation and support in providing this information and ensuring a high return rate. And thank you for your continued efforts to provide NHS patients with the best possible care during these challenging periods of industrial action.

Yours sincerely,

Stephen Groves
Director of NHS Resilience, NHS England

Annexes A-D