Advice Issued By Local Health Trust Ahead of Strike

Junior doctors and consultants taking industrial action together

Accident and emergency units will remain open
Accident and emergency units will remain open

September 29, 2023

A local hospital trust has issued guidance on how to access health services during the forthcoming strike by doctors.

From Monday 2 October to Thursday 5 October both junior doctors and consultants are taking industrial action in a dispute over pay.

The Chelsea and Westminster Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, which also runs the West Middlesex Hospital, is stressing that it is important that people continue to seek help from the NHS when they need it, especially in emergency and life-threatening cases.

During the strikes, cover will be provided to staff emergency services as well as a small amount of cover on the wards.

Some non-urgent appointments and procedures are being rescheduled but if you have not been informed of a change you should attend your appointment as planned.

In a statement it says, “Both our sites—West Middlesex University Hospital and Chelsea and Westminster Hospital—will be very busy on these days, as fewer medical staff will be working. Some community-based clinics may also be affected.

“We have tried and tested plans in place to ensure we can provide safe urgent and emergency care for patients who need it.

“During this period, most of our sexual health clinics are expected to be open but some may run a reduced service. You will be notified if there are any changes to your appointment. Please contact your clinic if you need support and aren’t sure what to do.

“Our A&E departments will be very busy during the strikes so if you need medical care, but it is not an emergency, please consider other services including NHS 111, your GP or local pharmacy.

“This will help you get directed to the best care for your needs and ensure we can prioritise patients with the most urgent health needs.”

A reminder is given that pharmacists can help with minor health concerns and that GP surgeries should usually be the first point of contact if you have a health problem although these will be busier on strike days.

98% of British Medical Association (BMA) members voted recently for a six-month mandate for strike action.

Junior doctors have already staged six walkouts this year and one of the days in September saw the first time this was timed to coincide with action by consultants leading to what was described as a Christmas Day service.

The BMA, which represents around two thirds of doctors in this country, wants a 35% pay rise for junior doctors to compensate for what it says are 15 years of below-inflation wage rises.

BMA junior doctor committee co-chairmen Dr Rob Laurenson and Dr Vivek Trivedi said, "We are sending a single message, loud and clear to the government: 'we are not going anywhere'.

"We are prepared to continue with our industrial action, but we don't have to - the prime minister has the power to halt any further action by making us a credible offer."

The government has given junior doctors 6% plus £1,250, which works out at an average of nearly 9% and are unwilling to discuss further increases as this rise was determined by an independent pay review body.

Health Secretary Steve Barclay said, "My door is always open to discuss how we can work together with NHS staff to improve their working lives, but this pay award is final, so I urge the BMA to call an end to this callous and calculated disruption".

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