NHS urges public to be prepared ahead of upcoming industrial action by junior doctors

Posted Friday, August 11, 2023 9:34 AM

NHS urges public to be prepared ahead of upcoming industrial action by junior doctors

The British Medical Association (BMA) is taking strike action involving junior doctors across Nottingham and Nottinghamshire in August.

Junior doctors will be striking from 7am on Friday 11th August to 7am on Tuesday 15th August. The strikes are due to impact the city and county’s hospitals, mental health services, GP practices and other NHS services. The industrial action is a national dispute between the Government and Trades Unions about terms and conditions.

Amanda Sullivan, Chief Executive at NHS Nottingham and Nottinghamshire, has reminded the public to think about which services they need during this action and plan ahead for the weekend.

She said: “Like previous strikes, there will be major disruption during this period, and we are urging people to only attend A&E or call 999 in an emergency. Junior doctors do a vital job, so losing this part of our workforce over a weekend will have a big knock-on effect.

“We know we have asked the public to help their local NHS during a number of strikes now, but we don’t want this message to lose its importance. I want to reiterate that it is more important than ever that we use the right service and plan ahead by making sure prescriptions are ordered in good time.

“The safety of our patients and staff remains our top priority. We are committed to keeping disruption to a minimum on these dates and we have measures in place to ensure the safety and welfare of our patients and our staff.

“If you have an appointment at one of our hospitals, please attend unless you hear from us. Please don’t call to check if your appointment is going ahead. We will be in touch with you directly if we need to rearrange your appointment.

“We are doing everything we can to keep essential urgent and emergency care services running but waiting times in A&E will be significantly affected. Please use alternative services where possible, including 111 online, pharmacies or urgent treatment centres.”

Due to the reduction in staff across the system, planned surgery and outpatient appointments may be affected. If you have not been contacted, please attend your appointment as planned. The NHS will contact you if your appointment needs to be rescheduled due to the strike action.

During the last period of industrial action by junior doctors, over five days in July, there were 101,977 cancellations of acute inpatient and outpatient appointments nationally. At the peak of the action, there were 20,342 staff not at work across England due to industrial action. The cumulative total of acute inpatient and outpatient appointments cancelled in eight months of industrial action now stands at 698,813 across England.

Regardless of any strike action taking place, it is really important that patients who need urgent medical care continue to come forward as normal, especially in emergency and life-threatening cases.

Pharmacies can offer over-the-counter advice and treat common illnesses such as colds, sore throats, stings and allergies. Many pharmacies are offering additional services for common conditions including urinary tract infections, middle ear infections in young children, skin infections including impetigo, infected eczema and infected insect bites. Find out if your local pharmacy is taking part on the NHS website.

Where the situation is not life-threatening, alternative support is available through NHS111 online, your nearest pharmacy or at urgent treatment centres.  In an emergency call 999 or go to A&E. 

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