Health bosses offer reassurance ahead of junior doctors' strikes next week

Junior doctors are set to walk out on strike at county hospitals next week – with health bosses urging people to attend appointments during the industrial action.

The strikes begin at 7am on Monday
The strikes begin at 7am on Monday

The strikes are set take place for three days from 7am on Monday, and include Robert Jones & Agnes Hunt Orthopaedic Hospital, Shropshire Community Health NHS Trust, and Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital Trust.

Dr Nick White, the Chief Medical Officer for NHS Shropshire, Telford and Wrekin, has said that services will remain open – including hospital emergency departments, GP practices, mental health services and community services.

But he said some delay and disruption is inevitable, and urged people to 'think which service' they need before seeking help.

The strikes involve The British Medical Association (BMA), the Hospital Consultants and Specialists Association (HCSA) and the British Dental Association (BDA), along with junior doctors, dental core trainees and specialty registrars.

They finish at 7am on Thursday.

Dr White said: “Patient safety is our top priority. We would like to reassure local people that we are working together across the NHS to try and minimise the disruption to the public.

“Unless people are contacted by their health service provider they should carry on as planned and attend their appointment. Staff will do their very best to honour appointments.

“However, we have to be realistic, and some appointments will be postponed or re-scheduled. During this time the priority will be to ensure those most in need of care are able to receive it.

“A&E departments will be open, and I cannot stress enough how important it is for people with life-threatening conditions to come forward as usual. However, there are a range of other services available – such as NHS 111 online, minor injury units, and community pharmacies.

“I would urge people to use the best service for their needs. If you are feeling unwell, please consider visiting your local pharmacy. Pharmacists are highly trained medical professionals who can offer help and advice with no need for an appointment, and the NHS 111 service is available by ‘phone or online 24/7.”

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