NHS Greater Manchester is warning residents to expect a significant impact on services later this week when junior doctors at all the city region’s NHS hospitals plan to strike (7am on Thursday 13 July until 7am on Tuesday 18 July).
NHS Greater Manchester is putting plans in place so those who need urgent care will receive it; prioritising those needing emergency treatment such as threats to life and limb, critical care, neonatal care, and trauma. Patient safety is the number one priority. Inevitably, there will be service disruption on strike days. To ensure people’s urgent needs can be met, the public should only call 999 or go to an emergency department if it is a medical or mental health emergency, when someone is seriously ill or injured and their life is at risk.
Anyone not facing an emergency, and who cannot wait to speak to a GP, can find the best options for their needs via NHS 111 Online at 111.nhs.uk in the first instance, unless the issue concerns a child under 5, when they should call 111. Lots of illnesses can also be managed safely at home, or with a trip to a local pharmacist.
Consultant doctors and dentists will also be taking strike action for 48 hours from 7am on Thursday 20 July until 7am on Saturday 22 July. During the two days of action, consultants will provide all emergency services though routine services will be impacted.
Hospitals will continue to do everything it can to go ahead with planned procedures and appointments – especially for patients in greatest clinical need – and will contact you if an appointment needs to be rescheduled. If you have not been contacted, please attend your appointment as planned.
Dr Claire Lake, Deputy Chief Medical Officer for NHS Greater Manchester Integrated Care, said:
“For those who need to use NHS services this week, significant disruption should be expected. Heading into the eighth month of industrial action, we have tried and tested plans to manage this, but these strikes in July will lead to signification disruption.
“We are, of course, working hard to reduce disruption, prioritise emergency services and maintain routine care where possible.
“People should still come forward to access emergency care if needed and use NHS 111 Online for urgent health advice on days of strike action.
“The public should continue to access care from their GP practice, community pharmacies, dentists, opticians, and other services as needed on strike days and attend all appointments unless contacted.”
During the last strike, high numbers of patients still attended hospital, so it’s vital people who need care choose services appropriately to help ensure care is available to patients who need it.
Individual NHS services will also keep their websites and social media accounts up to date with information about local service disruption – so please check before you travel.