Junior doctors’ strikes to seriously impact NHS services in Northamptonshire

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Strike action from junior doctors is expected to have a serious impact on NHS services across Northamptonshire in the run-up to Christmas and into the new year.

Strike action from junior doctors is expected to have a serious impact on NHS services across Northamptonshire in the run-up to Christmas and into the new year.

The British Medical Association (BMA) has announced that junior doctors will strike from 7am on Wednesday 20 December until 7am on Saturday 23 December, and then again from 7am on Wednesday 3 January to 7am on Tuesday 9 January.

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Local people are being urged to be ready for the impact of the industrial action – which is likely to result in longer waits or delayed treatment – and follow the advice of the NHS to ensure care is available to those who need it most.

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Dr Imogen Staveley, Interim Chief Medical Officer for NHS Northamptonshire Integrated Care Board, said: “Junior doctors are qualified doctors with up to eight years’ experience working in hospitals or up to three years in general practice.

“They make up around half of all doctors in the NHS, so while staff will continue to work hard to provide patients with the best possible care during this latest strike action, there is likely to be a significant impact on local services at a time when the NHS is already under severe pressure.

“During these upcoming periods of industrial action, we will be prioritising emergency care, critical care, acute mental health care, neonatal care, maternity and trauma.

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“The NHS is asking patients to choose services appropriately and take simple steps to help ensure care is available to patients who need it most. This includes using 111 online as the first port of call for health needs, and only using 999 if it is a life-threatening emergency.

“At this time of year when vulnerable people are particularly at risk from ill-health, we also ask that people do what they can to look after loved ones and check in on family members and neighbours.“We apologise to local people who are impacted by this action and thank them for their continued co-operation, patience and understanding.”

Options available to patients during strike action:

Patients with urgent health concerns

Anyone who needs urgent care (aged five and over) should use 111.nhs.uk to be assessed and directed to the right care for them. If needed a healthcare professional will call you back and this option can save you time in waiting areas. If you do not have internet access or you are contacting 111 about a patient aged under five, please call 111 instead.

Corby Urgent Care Centre is open every day between 8am and 8pm and can help with minor injuries/ illnesses such as lacerations, sprains, strains, minor burns or scalds.

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GP practices will also continue to be open, including the enhanced access service (out of hours) but are also likely to be extremely busy. Please continue to contact your GP practice if you need GP services and the out of hours service can be reached via 111.nhs.uk.

Remember you can also book appointments and order repeat prescriptions online or by using the NHS app.

Patients with minor illnesses and injuries

Your local pharmacy can help with minor illnesses like coughs, colds and red eye. They are open late and no appointment is needed.

Patients who need medical help or advice but are unsure where to go

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Patients who need medical help or advice (aged five and over) but are unsure where to go, should contact NHS 111 online unless it unless it is a life-threatening emergency when you should still call 999.

If you do not have internet access or you are contacting 111 about a patient aged under five, please call 111 instead.

Patients who have an appointment on strike days

Everyone who has an appointment should attend as planned unless your local NHS provider has contacted you to reschedule. If they have not contacted you, please attend your appointment.

Patients should continue to call 999 in a medical or mental health emergency – when someone is seriously ill or injured, or their life is at risk.

For more information on when to call 999 and when to go to A&E, you can visit the NHS UK website.