Junior doctors' strike — patients urged to use services 'appropriately'

Rotherham NHS Foundation Trust medical director Dr Jo BeahanRotherham NHS Foundation Trust medical director Dr Jo Beahan
Rotherham NHS Foundation Trust medical director Dr Jo Beahan
HEALTH bosses say plans are in place during planned industrial action by junior doctors next week – but stressed it is “vital” people use services “appropriately”.

Junior doctors across the country are due to hold action from 7am on Wednesday, December 20 until 7am on Saturday, December 23.

Rotherham NHS Foundation Trust is urging anyone who needs emergency medical care to still come forward during the strike action, while patients with appointments planned should attend as normal unless they are contacted directly by the trust.

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Medical director Dr Jo Beahan said: “It is really important that anyone who needs urgent or emergency medical attention next week continues to attend our Urgent and Emergency Care Centre. “While our junior doctors may be striking, our services remain open for those that need our help.

“We have plans in place to ensure patients in our care will continue to receive the treatment they need throughout the period of industrial action.

“In the run up to Christmas, we will aim to discharge any patients that are medically fit so that they can spend the festive period with their loved ones.

“Patients with appointments will be contacted directly if we need to rearrange their appointment.

“If we do not contact you, please attend as planned.

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“While our services do remain open, as always it is vital that they are used appropriately.

“The UECC is for those in need of urgent medical care.

“If anyone is unsure of the best place for them to receive advice, visit www.111.nhs.uk.”

Alternatives to UECC remain available throughout the festive period, and may be better suited to patient needs.

Some pharmacies will be open on Christmas Day and NHS 111 remains available 24 hours a day, Dr Beahan added.

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The British Medical Association said junior doctors were taking industrial action because the Department of Health and Social Care had not put forward a “credible offer” to end the pay dispute “after five weeks of talks”.

The BMA is planning a further period of industrial action early in the new year – from 7am on Wednesday, January 3 to 7am until Tuesday, January 9 2024.