Industrial action by junior doctors and dentists working in hospitals is taking place for 72 hours from 7am on Monday March 13th to 7am on Thursday March 16th and will impact all hospitals across Greater Manchester and some GP services.
The NHS in Greater Manchester is asking the public to support NHS staff by using services wisely and attending appointments as planned unless they are contacted to rearrange. Consultant cover will be in place to maintain safe patient care during this time, along with the normal number of nurses and allied health professionals.
Dr Francis Andrews, consultant in emergency medicine and medical director, Bolton NHS Foundation Trust on behalf of all acute medical directors for NHS Greater Manchester said:
“Junior doctors are a valued and essential part of our NHS workforce. We recognise the significant contribution they make across services in Greater Manchester as they care for patients and progress in their medical careers. We respect their right to take industrial action and hope a resolution will be found soon. Our priorities as always are patient safety and making sure people know where they can get appropriate healthcare from during strikes.
“Our message to the public is clear. People must come forward if they need urgent medical care, especially in emergency and life-threatening cases – when someone is seriously ill or injured, or their life is at risk.
“Whilst we are doing our best to minimise disruption, we are asking people to use NHS 111 Online as the first port of call for health needs and continuing to only use 999 or the emergency department (A&E) if it’s life-threatening.
“Services are expected to be impacted across the whole healthcare system including hospitals, mental health services and primary care, as GP trainees are junior doctors. This may affect some appointments and clinics but our message to the public is to please continue to attend your appointments unless you are contacted and told otherwise. The NHS will contact you if your appointment needs to be rescheduled due to strike action.
“We have been working with health and care partners across Greater Manchester to put in place plans to ensure we can deliver safe care for people who need it during this period of industrial action. Staff where appropriate will be redeployed, some appointments and services have been rescheduled and there has been an additional push to maximise hospital discharges.”
NHS 111 Online can tell you where to get help for your symptoms and how to find general health information and advice. More information about when to call 999 and when to go to A&E is available via the national NHS website.
Local NHS services will also keep their websites and social media accounts up to date with information about local service disruption – so please do check before you travel.
If your relative or friend is due to be discharged from hospital and needs to be collected, please do whatever you can to help bring them home as early as possible. This will help our teams to free-up a hospital bed for someone waiting to be admitted.