NHS plans for three day strike action
Industrial action by British Medical Association (BMA) members in the region will see strike action start from 7am Monday (13 March) and run until 7am Thursday (16 March).
NHS teams across the region have been working ahead of the strike to understand the potential impact this may have and to put in place plans to ensure as little disruption for patients as possible, as well as alleviate pressures on services such as urgent and emergency care.
This is the longest single strike action affecting NHS services this year and the public are reminded to expect to see disruption in frontline health services over the three days.
Dr Neil O'Brien, Executive Medical Director, for the North East and North Cumbria Integrated Care Board said:
"Junior doctors are highly valued members of the NHS, providing skilled support to frontline services.
"Whilst the NHS has plans in place to provide a good and safe level of care to patients over this period, some services will be affected. We are urging patients to be mindful of the pressures that the NHS will be under and to use health services considerately by thinking of your local pharmacy for minor ailments and 111 online first so we can keep A&E and 999 for life threatening emergencies.
"It may be necessary for your hospital to postpone your appointment or treatment, so they can prioritise emergency care. However, patients should continue to attend scheduled appointments as planned unless they hear from the NHS to say otherwise. Any postponed appointments will be re-arranged as a priority.
"Emergency and urgent care services will remain open. It is really important that in emergency and life-threatening cases – when someone is seriously ill or their life is at risk - patients continue to come forward as normal. If someone is seriously ill or injured and their life is at risk, please call 999.
"For non-life-threatening illnesses and injuries, use 111.nhs.uk, which is available 24 hours a day, or contact your local community pharmacist or GP practice.”
Public are reminded for everyday illnesses and injury to use the on-line symptom checker available at www.111.nhs.uk, which will re-direct to a health professional if people need to be seen by someone. Also self-care advice is available online from the NHS at www.nhs.uk.
Anyone needing urgent mental health support should continue to seek it via their local Crisis Team. People can put their postcode in here to find their local Crisis line:
Watch Dr O'Briens video here .