Great Ormond Street Hospital as it declares a “business continuity incident” in the face of nurses' strikes this weekend.

The Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children NHS Foundation Trust says that it has made the “difficult decision” ahead of planned nurses’ strikes on Sunday (April 30) and Monday (May 1).

The specialist hospital in Bloomsbury says it will be unable to staff itself for normal services this weekend.

An announcement reads: “We have been working hard to make sure that we have enough nursing staff to continue to care for all patients at the hospital.

“Having carefully reviewed our staffing levels over the strike period, currently we are unable to staff the hospital to our usual nursing ratios.”

A business continuity incident is described as an event that disrupts the NHS’s normal service delivery “below acceptable predefined levels”.

According to the trust, options have been explored for delivering care, including increasing the numbers of doctors, physiotherapists, pharmacists, and other care staff on site. 

The announcement says that the trust is doing everything it can to ensure children will still receive safe care – however it warns “this may look a little different to usual”.

The trust said: “To be able to provide safe care, we are working to identify which patients can safely go home, and either start or resume their care later, and those who do need to remain in hospital.”

Families will be contacted if their children needs to stay in hospital or will be returned home, or if they’ll be transferred to another hospital.

A picket line will be in place at the main entrance of the hospital on Monday from 10am to 4pm.

An alternative entrance will be signposted for patients needing to go to the hospital during this time.