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Junior doctors' industrial action: information for patients

Junior doctors have voted to take industrial action on three separate occasions in January and February 2016.

The first period of industrial action will take place from 8am on Tuesday 12 January until 8am the following day. During this time, junior doctors will provide cover for emergencies only.

Deputy Chief Executive and Chief Operating Officer Deborah Needham said:
“Our priority during the industrial action is to keep our patients safe and so our focus will be on those departments and wards where patients have the greatest need of care.

“Patients who need emergency treatment will be seen and treated as quickly as possible. However, those in less urgent need of care may experience longer waiting times than normal. If you have a minor injury or illness, or you’re not sure where to go for treatment, please call NHS111 for advice.

Cancelled appointments
“We have taken the decision to cancel some appointments and less urgent operations and we have sent letters by first class post to affected patients. Anyone who has had an appointment cancelled will receive a letter this week.

“If you have a scheduled appointment or procedure planned for Tuesday, you should assume it is going ahead as normal if you do not receive a letter from us.

If industrial action is called off:
“In the event of the industrial action being called off, we will reinstate the majority of cancelled appointments. Following feedback from patients after last month’s cancelled strike, we recognise that many people would prefer to come in for their original appointment even at very short notice.

“However, this isn’t going to be practical for all appointments because of the degree of preparation involved in some cases, so it’s really important that patients who receive cancellation letters follow the instructions given in their letter about what to do if the industrial action is called off.

“If anyone is still unclear after reading their letter, they should contact the department or clinic direct using the number provided in their letter.

“We appreciate that for some people, work and personal commitments mean that they don’t have the flexibility to make arrangements at short notice so we’d like to reassure patients who can’t attend a reinstated appointment that they will be rescheduled as quickly as possible in line with our cancellation policy and won’t be classified as a non-attending patient.”

The industrial action relates to a national dispute between junior doctors and the government. The hospital's position is neutral and our overriding concern is to provide safe services to patients during any periods of industrial action.


Posted on Tuesday 19th January 2016
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