25 April 2016
Junior doctors are currently planning for further strike action this week - with a full walkout planned as part of national industrial action – but contingency preparations are already well underway across the NHS in South East Staffordshire and Seisdon Peninsula.
As things stand, a full withdrawal of labour by junior doctors is set to take place between 8am and 5pm on both Tuesday, 26th and Wednesday, 27th April. If the industrial action goes ahead, it will be the first time junior doctors have staged a full walkout and will not be providing emergency care.
This week’s planned industrial action is set to last for 18 hours in total. It is strongly advised that the public consider alternatives to the emergency department and make full use of their local services such as their local GP or pharmacy.
John James, Chair at South East Staffordshire and Seisdon Peninsula Clinical Commissioning Group, said: “It is more important than ever that the public choose their local services for the duration of the two days of industrial action.
“NHS organisations have tried and tested plans to deal with a range of disruptions including industrial action but this is an unprecedented situation for the NHS. We are working to ensure there are robust plans that protect the safety, welfare and service provided to patients, which remains our top priority. Plans are in place across the country to deliver continued safe services for patients but in some places the NHS service may be under specific pressure. We want people to plan so they know what to do if they need medical care during the course of this industrial action.
“The NHS is open for business but we ask the public to use it wisely in this very challenging time as some services may change and some may be busier than usual so contact services early if you need to book appointments during this time.”
GP surgeries will provide services as normal, but local Accident & Emergency department will be busy.
Other services may be able to assist:
Your GP, pharmacist, NHS 111 telephone service or the NHS Choices website may be able to help. For more information visit: www.nhs.uk/staywell
The out-of-hours urgent GP care is available after 6.30pm on weekdays, at weekends and Bank Holidays by calling NHS 111.
"The out-of-hours service is for those with urgent healthcare needs. If your concern relates to a child under 12, you will always be offered a face-to-face appointment.
If an illness or injury is not serious, there are many local ‘Pharmacy First’ branches across South East Staffordshire and Seisdon Peninsula that operate a minor ailments service with specially trained experts who can advise on:
• Coughs and colds, including nasal congestion and sore throat
• Minor cuts and bruises
• Aches and pains, such as headaches, earache and back pain
Visit www.sesandspccg.nhs.uk for more a list of local pharmacies who participate in the scheme.
NHS Choices have an A-Z medical page, www.nhs.uk/Conditions which is useful for checking the early symptoms of a minor illness.
To keep you updated, please visit @sessp_ccg for the latest information.
Patients should visit www.nhs.uk/strike for local updates on services.