Health services in Lancashire and South Cumbria will prioritise emergency and life-saving care during the latest round of industrial action.
The local NHS is expecting to be under significant pressure this week and people living in the area have been warned that routine care will face disruption.
The three-day strike is due to take place from 7am on Wednesday 14 June until 7am on Saturday 17 June, after A&Es across the country experienced the busiest May on record.
All hospital trusts across Lancashire and South Cumbria will be impacted. Almost half of all hospital doctors in the country are junior doctors and they work in almost every part of a busy hospital. They are qualified doctors who have anywhere up to eight years of experience working as a hospital doctor, depending on their speciality, or up to three years in general practice.
Dr David Levy, medical director at NHS Lancashire and South Cumbria Integrated Care Board, which organises health services for the region, said: “To make sure safe care continues to be available for those in life-threatening situations, NHS staff will prioritise emergency and urgent care over some routine appointments and procedures.
“A lot of work has gone into preparing for this next set of strikes and there are a lot of appointments that will need to be rescheduled. If you haven’t been contacted to let you know that your appointment is being rescheduled, then please continue to attend your planned appointment.
“This is the seventh month of industrial action across the NHS and we have seen a cumulative impact on our services and also our staff, who have gone above and beyond to maintain safe services for patients during this challenging time.”
People who need care must still access the care they need – only using 999 and A&E in life-threatening emergencies and using NHS 111 online and other services for non-urgent health needs. Pharmacies and GPs are largely unaffected by the strikes so patients can still get appointments and health advice.
The public is encouraged to use services wisely and take simple steps to help ensure care is available to those who need it most. This includes using NHS 111 Online (www.111.nhs.uk) as the first port of call for health needs and continuing to only use 999 if it is a life-threatening emergency.
Dr Levy said: “Regardless of any strike action taking place, it is really important 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.”
Local NHS services will keep their websites and social media accounts up to date with information about local service disruption – so please check these before you travel.