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Strike action – A&E and 999 for life threatening emergencies only

Emergency and urgent care centres in the North East and North Cumbria will remain open for life-threatening conditions or injuries as industrial action takes place tomorrow (11 January) by GMB and Unison ambulance staff.

NHS leaders are asking the public to only call 999 for an ambulance during strike days for life-threatening conditions or injuries only.

Dr Neil O'Brien executive medical director, North East and North Cumbria Integrated Care Board said: "With greater disruption to services expected as more teams will be unavailable due to the industrial action, we really need the public's support to only call for an ambulance in a life threatening emergency."

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 on-line from the NHS at www.nhs.uk.

Dr O'Brien added: "We are expecting services to be very busy, with long delays expected at a time when services are already under significant pressure. We do have plans in place to ensure the safety of those patients who may need our help in an emergency, and we are putting into practice all we have learnt from the industrial action last month.

"People can get advice and treatment for a range of common illnesses from their local pharmacy, which is often a more convenient way to get the help you need. Pharmacists can also advise when to contact your GP practice, especially if symptoms persist and you are not getting any better."

Patients are advised to continue to attend appointments across NHS services unless they have been contacted.

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