NHS Mid and South Essex ICB encourages all residents to be prepared, in advance, for the industrial strike action involving consultants, junior doctors, radiographers and hospital dental trainees, planned to take place from 7am Monday 2 October until 7am on Thursday 5th October.
While industrial action is taking place it is anticipated that both routine and emergency care are likely to be significantly affected.
In order to prioritise life-saving emergency treatment for people who need it, hospitals are highly likely to postpone some non-urgent operations, treatments and routine appointments. Where this is the case, patients will be contacted directly.
Unfortunately, we are aware that this will have a detrimental knock-on effect on local waiting times for planned care.
The NHS in mid and south Essex will be working hard to keep people safe during the planned strikes, while delivering the best care possible.
Dr Matthew Sweeting, Interim System Medical Director for NHS Mid and South Essex, said:
“The local NHS will be under greater pressure than usual during this time, but we are committed to keeping disruption to services to a minimum. Our focus is on providing safe care for patients who need urgent and emergency services, and those receiving inpatient care in our hospitals.
You’ll be contacted if your appointment needs to be changed, so please turn up as usual if you are not contacted. We know how disappointing it will be for patients who have their appointments rescheduled and all efforts will be made to rearrange the appointments as quickly as possible.
If you need medical help or advice, please use the NHS symptom checker at nhs.uk or visit NHS 111 online in the first instance unless it is a life-threatening emergency when you should still call 999 or go to A&E.
To try and relieve the pressure on local GP practices, we encourage people with minor ailments to visit their local pharmacies. Pharmacists are experienced medical professionals who can be a great source of help and advice and residents do not need an appointment to speak with a pharmacist.
We also ask residents to be mindful to leave enough time for their GP practice to process repeat prescriptions (at least 72 hours) and additional time for your pharmacy to dispense it.”
Residents can also play their part to assist during industrial action by taking simple steps to look after themselves, their loved ones, vulnerable family members and neighbours, by checking in on them.
For more information about this industrial action and for advice and guidance when to call 999 and when to go to A&E, visit the NHS website www.nhs.uk or for local information please visit the NHS Mid and South Essex ICB website www.midandsouthessex.ics.nhs.uk/