Health and care organisations in Herefordshire have together put in place robust plans to protect the safety, welfare and service provided to patients, during the junior doctors’ strike this week.
However, as the strike will put extra pressure on services which are currently experiencing high demand, health bosses are urging people to use the NHS wisely on the two days of strike action.
Junior doctors’ industrial action is taking place on Tuesday and Wednesday, April 26 and 27. This includes withdrawal of cover in Emergency Departments.
The dispute is in relation to the Government’s response to pay and terms and conditions for junior doctors. It is not a dispute with NHS Trusts as an employer.
Dr Susan Gilby, medical director at Wye Valley NHS Trust, said: “Essential care will be provided by senior staff so patients in need of urgent and emergency care will continue to receive the treatment they need, when they need it.
“However, some services will need to change and some are likely to be busier than normal. We are therefore asking people to help the NHS prioritise the sickest patients by choosing the right service and attending the Emergency Department only if it is essential.
“The message is clear: The NHS is open for business, but we’re asking local people to use it wisely at this very challenging time as some services may change and some may be busier than usual.”
NHS England has created a new dedicated webpage for patient information about the forthcoming strike - it can viewed by visiting www.nhs.uk/strike
Locally, hospital managers, along with their senior clinical leaders, have developed robust plans to ensure all inpatients, including those in the delivery/maternity ward, as well as urgent admissions and emergency department patients, are looked after safely and appropriately during the strike.
“We have unfortunately had to postpone around 490 clinic appointments and 77 operations/procedures. However, we’ve planned ahead by scheduling fewer appointments and procedures to keep postponements to a minimum.
“We apologise to patients for any inconvenience caused and we have contacted patients whose procedure or appointment has been postponed”.
Simon Hairsnape, accountable officer at Herefordshire Clinical Commissioning Group, said: “We’re working very closely with Wye Valley NHS Trust to ensure that the Trust continues to provide the majority of patient services as ‘business as usual’ while maintaining patient safety.
“However, we are calling on local residents to consider NHS alternatives for minor injuries and illnesses, to avoid unnecessary longer waits in the Emergency Department.
“People can access advice from local pharmacies, GPs, GP extended opening hours service, Herefordshire Walk in Centre on Belmont Road, minor injury units, or call NHS 111 for non urgent health advice”.
- Call NHS 111
- Herefordshire Walk-In Centre, by ASDA, Belmont Road, Hereford, which is open 8am- 8pm
- Minor Injury Units - Ledbury Community Health and Care Centre Minor Injury Unit (open 24- hours-a-day), Leominster Community Hospital and Ross Community Hospital Minor Injury Units (open from 8.30am to 5.30pm, Monday to Friday only), Kington Health and Social Care Centre Minor Injury Unit (open from 8am to 8pm)
- Taurus extended hours GP services at: Wargrave House Surgery, St Owen Street, Hereford; The Marches Surgery, Westfield Walk, Leominster; and Pendeen Surgery, Kent Avenue, Ross on Wye, which are available from 8am to 8pm on Saturdays and Sundays. Visit www.taurushealthcare.co.uk
(7 day access)
- Local pharmacy. For more information on local health services, visit www.nhs.uk
Note to Editors:
- Wye Valley NHS Trust provides health services across Herefordshire and beyond. The Trust exists to improve the wellbeing, independence and health of the people we serve. We are the leading provider of health care in Herefordshire.
- By working closely with our partners, we can make good our promise to deliver a quality of care we would want for ourselves, our families and our friends.
- With an estimated annual turnover of around £183 million, we employ around 3,000 plus staff. We aim to build new relationships between our staff, patients, service users and their carers with the wider community.
For further information please contact:
John Burnett, communication and engagement manager, Wye Valley NHS Trust: 01432 372928 or Fiona Gurney, communications officer 01432 355444 ext. 5105.