Hospitals in Hull are gearing up for the next wave of industrial action by junior doctors, which will begin next week.
Late last month, the BMA announced three further sets of strike dates after national negotiations around changes to junior doctors’ terms and conditions failed to reach agreement.
As a result, junior doctors will be providing only emergency cover between 8am on Wednesday 9th March, through to 8am on Friday 11th March. Locally, this will affect services at both Hull Royal Infirmary and Castle Hill Hospital in Cottingham.
Two further 48hr strike periods are also planned for 6-8 April and 26-28 April.
Kevin Phillips, Chief Medical Officer at Hull and East Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust says plans are in place to cope with the extended period of strike action:
“We recognise the junior doctors’ right to take industrial action, so we will be implementing our business continuity plans to try and minimise disruption for patients and ensure our services can continue to run safely.
“As was the case during the recent 24 hour strikes, extra support has been arranged for those areas which are expected to come under additional pressure. This includes more pharmacy support for our wards to help with prescribing issues and patient discharge arrangements, and extra technical support to help staff with electronic patient record systems.
“Patients who have appointments which fall on either Wednesday 9th or Thursday 10th March should assume they are going ahead unless they have already been contacted to advise otherwise. The majority of hospital services are still expected to run as normal, but a relatively small number of people will, regrettably, be subject to cancellations in areas where it would not prove safe or possible to continue running a service. All affected patients have now been contacted to advise them and make alternative arrangements.”
Emergency care will be unaffected by the upcoming strike action as junior doctors will continue to staff this service. Picket lines are expected outside Trust premises on both strike days, but will not block access to or from the sites for patients, staff and visitors.
Hull and East Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust would like to apologise for any inconvenience, and thank patients and the public for their cooperation and understanding during the forthcoming period of industrial action.
Important information for patients:
- Whilst some disruption as a result of the strike action is inevitable, the vast majority of services and clinics at Hull Royal Infirmary and Castle Hill Hospital are expected to run as normal.
- Those patients who have appointments or surgical procedures scheduled to take place on Wednesday 9 March or Thursday 10 March are asked to attend as planned, unless they have already been contacted by a member of hospital staff to cancel and reschedule.
- Patients with specific queries around their appointments are asked to contact the hospital using the details provided on their appointment letters.
- Emergency care services will continue to run as normal.
- In light of additional pressures anticipated on the day, members of the public are asked to familiarise themselves with alternative, non-hospital based sources of healthcare advice and treatment, including minor injury units, walk-in centres, GP surgeries and pharmacies. A full list of local community health services is available via hey.nhs.uk/alternatives