Despite high level talks yesterday, no agreement was reached and, for the first time in history, nurses in NI went out on strike.
Unison also had health workers go out on strike as well.
Last night the Southern Health Trust issued guidance on which facilities would be closed and which would remain open.
Emergency Departments at Craigavon and Daisy Hill Hospitals will be open, but expected to be very busy and we will always prioritise the most urgent patients.
The Minor Injuries Unit in South Tyrone Hospital, Dungannon will be closed on Wednesday, re-opening Thursday morning at 9am.
A small number of planned operations have been cancelled on today Tuesday 17th December – four in total. The majority of planned in-patient and day case surgery has been postponed on Wednesday 18th December – total 75 patients. Emergency surgery will go ahead.
All community mental health services at Trasna House in Lurgan will be closed all day on Wednesday, December 18th. Anyone who requires urgent care should contact their GP who will have access to Emergency and Urgent Mental Health services.
All day centres/resource centres will be closed – 21 in total. They include: Lisanally; Keady; Clogher; Edenderry; Orchard; Meadows; Donard; Crozier; Windsor Day Centre, Newry; Laurels Day Centre, Newry; Binnian Day Centre, Kilkeel; Millview Day Centre, Bessbrook; Crossmaglen Day Centre; Aughnacloy (McCague) Centre; Gortgonis Centre Coalisland; Appleby Day Centre Armagh; Oakridge Day Centre Dungannon; Station Road Day Centre Armagh; Linenbridge Day Centre, Banbridge; Bannvale Day Centre, Gilford; Manor Day Centre, Lurgan.
The majority of outpatient appointments have been postponed – a total of 1029 patients. Patients affected have been notified. Community based clinics and services will also be affected – 172 appointments have been cancelled. Patients have been notified.
District nursing service will be limited in all areas to essential calls only.
Domiciliary Care will only be provided to the most dependent service users. Clients have been advised.
There will be no canteen/coffee bar facilities available in the Trust – only patient meals will be provided.
A Trust spokesperson said: “The Trust will do everything possible to keep services running, but in many areas we will be working with significantly reduced staffing. This includes a reduced service on our switchboards which may lead to delays answering calls. We apologise for any inconvenience this may cause.”