Junior Doctor’s National Strike 12 January: Patients advised to avoid coming to hospital unless absolutely necessary
THE general public are being advised to only come to hospital if they have an appointment or if it is an emergency on Tuesday 12 January, which is a day of national strike action by junior doctors.
The Pennine Acute Hospitals NHS Trust which runs North Manchester and Fairfield General Hospitals, The Royal Oldham Hospital and Rochdale Infirmary as well as community services, has issued this advice to the public as services are already stretched thanks to the winter pressures affecting all hospitals nationally.
Emergency care, including A&E and emergency surgery, will be fully staffed and unaffected; these services will continue to be provided during the strike. The public, however, are being urged to think carefully before coming to A&E and to consider using the wide range of alternative healthcare services available in the community, including GP surgeries, pharmacies and the NHS 111 service, unless they are very seriously unwell or have been involved in an accident.
The Trust’s cancer services, maternity services and labour wards will also not be affected by the strike.
The Trust will continue to provide high quality and safe services to patients during the strike and Trust management will implement contingency plans if necessary so that services can continue to be provided to patients as normal. The Trust management has worked hard to ensure that services which involve emergency and critical care are not affected.
The Trust has already contacted 24 patients directly to rearrange their non-urgent elective operations; these are mainly day-patient cases.
The Trust has also been forced to postpone a number of non-urgent routine follow-up outpatient clinics as well. Fracture clinics, cancer clinics and antenatal clinics will be unaffected.
Dr Anton Sinniah, Acting Medical Director at The Pennine Acute Hospitals NHS Trust, said:
“Patient safety and the welfare of our patients is the Trust’s top priority. Our A&E departments and urgent care services will operate as usual, but we are asking the public to think twice before coming to A&E unless their condition is urgent. This Industrial Action will place considerable pressure on the NHS, nationally and locally, at a point when staff are working incredibly hard and are already dealing with significant seasonal demand. People are also reminded of the other healthcare options available instead of coming to A&E or dialling 999 – such as visiting their pharmacist, local GP practice, calling NHS 111 or using NHS Choices (www.nhs.uk).
“There is likely to be some impact on our non-emergency and planned services during this period. We have contacted patients directly if their care has to be postponed and rescheduled as a result. Those in less urgent need of care may experience longer waiting times than normal.”
“We are also working closely with our partners across primary care and local authority social care to ensure we are collectively doing all that we can as a local health and social care system to improve the flow of patients in and out of our hospitals and to help discharge patients who are medically fit to go home or return to their care setting. We would also be keen for families of patients to help our staff when patients are ready for discharge both of the day of the strikes and in the days after.”
More information and updates will be regularly available on the Trust website at www.pat.nhs.uk and also via the Trust Twitter account @Pennineacutenhs
Notes to Editors
The dates and type of action that junior doctors will be called on to take are:
- Emergency care only – 8am, Tuesday 12 January to 8am, Wednesday 13 January 2016 (24 Hours)
- Emergency care only – 8am, Tuesday 26 January - to 8am Thursday 28 January 2016 (48 Hours)
- Full withdrawal of labour – 8am to 5pm, Wednesday 10 February 2016
The Pennine Acute Hospitals NHS Trust has rearranged 24 non-urgent elective operations, mainly day-patient cases across its four hospital