NHS bosses urge public to help NHS during joint strike by junior doctors and consultants

Posted Monday, October 2, 2023 9:51 AM

The NHS is prepared for severe disruption this week as consultants and junior doctors start a four day walk out together (2 October to 5 October 2023).

Local health bosses asked the public to pick up prescriptions in advance and use the correct service to help relieve pressures on services. The public are also reminded to continue to attend appointments unless they are told they are cancelled.

During this latest period of industrial action, planned appointments are likely to be postponed, delays will be expected and the local hospitals will, in effect, be operating a ‘Christmas Day’ level of staffing. During last week’s industrial action by junior doctors and consultants, there was 3,440 cancellations of inpatient and outpatient care in Nottingham and Nottinghamshire. 

GP practices will remain open but may have reduced staffing and less appointments available.

Dr Dave Briggs, Medical Director at NHS Nottingham and Nottinghamshire, said: “We were already seeing a high demand for NHS services and our emergency departments were busy with long waits to be seen, even without the impact of the industrial action. This week, our services will be under more strain and that’s why we are urging the public to please use NHS services wisely.

“Your NHS is still here for you but we’re asking people to consider whether A&E is the most appropriate place for their needs. If it’s not a life-threatening emergency, an Urgent Treatment Centre (UTC) can help with the most common problems people go to A&E for. If you think you need medical help right now but you’re not sure what to do, NHS 111 can help.

“Thank you for your understanding and support, our NHS staff are working tirelessly to assess patients as quickly as possible and ensure that we see the most seriously unwell people first.”

The advice for the public who need care has not changed – people should use 999 in life-threatening emergencies and NHS 111 online for other health concerns. GP services and pharmacies are also available for patients and can be accessed in the normal way.

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