Shropshire Star

Hospitals braced as junior doctors and consultants walk out in latest strike action

Junior doctors and consultants have walked out in the latest co-ordinated strike action predicted to have a significant impact on the county's hospitals.

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The strike action will impact the county's hospitals

The Three day strike, the latest in the ongoing dispute with the government and the NHS over pay, started at 7am this morning.

Health bosses in the county said they expected that planned and non-emergency work would be "significantly impacted" by the strikes.

The situation means more procedures and operations will be put off, with a significant number having been cancelled due to previous strikes.

During the most recent action, between September 19 and 23, Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital NHS Trust, which manages both Royal Shrewsbury Hospital and Princess Royal Hospital in Telford, cancelled 323 appointments or operations due to the strikes.

It means the total number of treatments cancelled grew to 2,053 over the last year.

At the Robert Jones and Agnes Hunt Orthopaedic Hospital near Oswestry 142 appointments or operations initially scheduled between September 19 and 23 were cancelled as a result of the same strikes.

It means the total number of treatments cancelled at the trust has been 1,093 over the last year.

The latest strikes will continue until 7am on Thursday.

Speaking ahead of the action Dr Nick White, Chief Medical Officer for NHS Shropshire, Telford and Wrekin, said urged people to "choose services wisely" to help reduce the pressure on under strain hospitals.

People have though been told to attend appointments unless they are told otherwise.

He said: "The NHS faces coordinated industrial action stretching over three days with both consultants and junior doctors striking in our hospitals. We will be prioritising emergency care and please be aware that it is highly likely planned or non-emergency work will be significantly impacted. If you have a planned appointment, please come in as expected, unless you hear otherwise.

“The NHS is asking patients to choose services wisely during the industrial action and take simple steps to help ensure care is available to patients who need it most."

He added: “This includes using 111 online as the first port of call for health needs and continuing to only use 999 if it is a life-threatening emergency.

“GP practices and local pharmacies will remain open as normal but are expected to be busier than usual as a result. Also, please consider using your local Minor Injury Unit in Bridgnorth, Ludlow, Oswestry and Whitchurch. These can provide rapid treatment for injuries and illnesses that don’t require emergency hospital care.

“Finally, if you have a loved one or family member in hospital, please do everything possible to help us get them home as soon as they are well enough to leave hospital. Freeing up beds for people who need them will be an important element of supporting our all of our services, including the emergency services.”