Patients advised to attend hospital appointment as planned during 48hr junior doctors’ strike unless contacted directly

Gill Harris
Patients advised to attend hospital appointment as planned during 48hr junior doctors’ strike unless contacted directly
08 March 2016

HOSPITAL appointments for patients attending hospitals run by The Pennine Acute Hospitals NHS Trust will go ahead as planned unless patients have been contacted directly and advised not to attend, during the national 48hr strike by junior doctors starting on Wednesday 9th March.

The first of three further national 48-hour strikes by junior doctors, announced by the British Medical Association (BMA), is scheduled to begin at 8am on Wednesday (9th March 2016). Two further strikes will take place next month on Wednesday 6th and Tuesday 26th April 2016. The strikes will take the form of emergency care only.

Emergency care, including A&E and emergency surgery, will run as normal during the strike. However, people should think carefully before coming to A&E and consider using alternative community healthcare services, such as a pharmacist, GP or NHS 111, unless it is an emergency.

The Trust’s cancer services, maternity services, including neonatal and labour wards, will also run as normal, as will pathology, radiology, rheumatology and ophthalmology services.

The Trust has robust plans in place to ensure all wards are safely covered and essential services are maintained on the day of the strike.

Where some non-urgent operations and outpatient clinic appointments have needed to be rearranged, patients have been contacted directly.

Any patients where their appointment has to be rearranged will be seen in chronological order once appointments are re-instated, as with previous strikes. The Trust has already seen those patients who had to have their appointment moved following the last national strike last month on 10th February.

The Trust runs North Manchester General Hospital, Fairfield General Hospital in Bury, The Royal Oldham Hospital and Rochdale Infirmary as well as community services.

Gill Harris, Chief Nurse at The Pennine Acute Hospitals NHS Trust, said:

“We have planned carefully for the 48 hour strike and we will continue to put patient safety and the welfare of our patients first. Our A&E departments and urgent care services will operate as usual, as will our cancer and maternity services, but we are asking the public to think carefully before turning up to our A&Es if their condition is not urgent or they can seek medical advice and treatment from a local pharmacy, GP, NHS 111 or via the NHS Choices website.

“As with previous strikes a number of scheduled non-emergency and planned services have had to be rearranged. Where this is the case we have contacted our patients concerned directly to reschedule their appointment and we will ensure that they are seen as quickly as possible. They will not go to the back of the queue. We are committed to ensuring that disruption to our patients and their families is minimised.”

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