Hospital staff are urging people to look closer to home for medical care as doctors prepare to go on strike again next week.
Some junior doctors and hospital consultants will be taking part in 72hrs of industrial action next week, starting at 7am on Monday 2nd October and concluding at 7am on Thursday 5th October.
The two groups will take strike action at the same time, meaning only a level of medical cover equivalent to that which would be in place on Christmas Day will be guaranteed, with many planned procedures and clinic appointments having to be rescheduled.
Mr Peter Sedman, Deputy Chief Medical Officer for Hull University Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust says:
“This latest period of industrial action comes just nine days after the most recent strike by junior doctors ended.
“During the last strike, there was a significant amount of pressure felt across our hospitals but in particular, in our Emergency Department, where a high number of patients continued to attend with routine or minor health complaints despite reduced staffing levels.
“For example, within just a couple of hours of each other one morning, our staff saw a patient who had forgotten to order a repeat prescription and another who had been experiencing mild health problems for over six months.
“These are just two examples of the kinds of issues which can easily be addressed within primary care, and without diverting limited emergency care resources away from seriously ill patients.”
Throughout the forthcoming strike period, Hull University Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust will be sharing advice through its social media channels on how and where to access the most appropriate care.
While Hull Royal Infirmary’s Emergency Department will remain open for the most seriously ill and injured, hospital pressures during the strike period could mean people attending for minor issues are redirected to other services such as their GP, walk-in centre or a nearby urgent treatment centre.
Mr Sedman continues:
“A number of hospital appointments and routine procedures are regrettably having to be rescheduled, and we’d like to apologise in advance to anyone affected. We are in the process of contacting those patients now to rearrange, but our advice to anyone with an appointment next week who does not hear from us is to attend as planned, as some work will still be going ahead.
“We’d also like to take the opportunity to thank those staff who continue to support our hospitals and who will be helping to maintain essential services for our patients throughout the forthcoming strike period.”
More information on industrial action by hospital doctors and advice for the public can be found on the NHS England website.
Details of alternative local healthcare services can be found at www.letsgetbetter.co.uk