10 July 2023

Please help your local NHS by keeping Emergency Departments free for those who need them most during the junior doctor and consultant strikes over the next two weeks.

Junior doctors who are members of the British Medical Association (BMA) are set to take industrial action from Thursday 13 July.

The strike will take place between 7am on Thursday 13 July and 7am on Tuesday 18 July and will impact services across Hampshire and the Isle of Wight. This will be the fourth strike by junior doctors since the pay dispute began.

Consultants who are members of the BMA will also take strike action for 48 hours from 7am on Thursday 20 July. This is the first time consultants are taking strike action during their current pay dispute with the government.

During a further period of inevitable disruption, patient safety remains our absolute priority.

Therefore, we continue to work with partners across the Hampshire and Isle of Wight health and care system to ensure that people who require access to services receive care and treatment in as timely a way as possible.

If you have an urgent medical problem and you are not sure what to do, visit 111 online at 111.nhs.uk. Urgent Treatment Centres and pharmacies are equipped to deal with minor injuries, such as cuts or sprains. Please only go to a hospital’s Emergency Department for life-threatening accidents and emergencies. Details of pharmacies and Urgent Treatment Centres can be found here.

Patients with appointments booked on strike days will be contacted by the NHS if their appointment needs to be rescheduled due to industrial action. If you have not been contacted, you should attend your appointment as planned.

You can also download the Healthier Together app for advice if you have children or carer responsibilities. The app can help you decide whether you can self-care at home or if you need help, which service is best for the needs of children aged up to 18. It also provides advice and guidance for pregnant women.

Regardless of any strike action taking place, it is really important that patients who need urgent medical care continue to come forward as normal, especially in emergency and life-threatening cases - when someone is seriously ill or injured, or their life is at risk.

Dr Tim Cooper, Joint Chief Medical Officer for the Hampshire and Isle of Wight Integrated Care Board said:

“We are asking you to help your local NHS by taking simple steps during industrial action to look after yourselves, your loved ones and to check in on vulnerable family members and neighbours.

“No one should put off seeking urgent care in an emergency during the strike action, however we are urging people to only attend our Emergency Departments if it is a life-threatening situation.

“There are a number of alternative services including pharmacies, urgent treatment centres (UTCs), Healthier Together and 111 online. By using one of these alternative services, it allows our teams in our emergency departments to attend to those patients who urgently need care and attention.

“If you have an appointment during the industrial action, then please continue to attend as planned unless you have been contacted to reschedule.

“We are working closely with our partners across the counties to plan, prepare and mitigate the potential impact and patient care remains our top priority. We are working hard to ensure that we continue to deliver the best level of care possible.”

For more information on local health services and getting the right care for your needs, please click here.

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