Patient Statement regarding junior doctors’ strike action

A number of junior doctors are expected to stage a 48-hour “emergency care only” action tomorrow, Wednesday, April 6 and Thursday, April 7, 2016.

Some scheduled operations and outpatient appointments at Blackpool Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust will need to be postponed to ensure emergency services can run.

“While we plan to maintain as many services as possible, we will need to postpone some appointments and procedures,” said the Trust’s Director of Operations, Mrs Pat Oliver. “Those patients affected will be contacted by telephone and those who do not hear from us should assume their appointment or procedure is going ahead as planned.”

All members of the public are urged to think carefully about the type of health care they need and consider appropriate alternatives to A&E.

“The NHS nationally has been under immense strain and the staff at Blackpool Teaching Hospitals have done a great job to keep the service running in such difficult conditions,” Mrs Oliver added.

“Along with A&E units across the country, Blackpool Victoria Hospital is treating a record number of patients at the moment which is putting extra pressures on our emergency department. Increased numbers of patients leads to an increase in admissions and to the number of patients needing diagnostic tests. We are endeavouring to meet the four hour waiting time where safely possible.

“Our experience during the last junior doctors’ strike was that the attendance numbers went up in A&E. A number of patients believed the strike would finish at 5pm and we had a spike in numbers coming to the emergency department at 6pm. The strike is 48 hours and it is imperative that patients consider where they will receive the most appropriate care.

“Patients are seen in a clinical need order and this can mean some people have to wait longer than others. To offer safe, effective care we must prioritise the most clinically urgent cases.

“We don’t want to stop people who really need to use A&E from attending but we remind patients that it is for emergencies such as breathing difficulties, loss of consciousness, severe chest pain, serious accidents and severe bleeding.

“The public are asked to consider appropriate alternatives to A&E such as Whitegate Drive, Same Day Health Centre in Fleetwood, local pharmacies, GP surgeries and dentists.

“Senior managers and clinicians in the Trust are working closely with trade union representatives to ensure the quality and safety of care that we provide to patients is not compromised when junior doctors take part in the planned BMA industrial action.”

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