People using A&E at Northamptonshire’s two general hospitals have been told to only attend if it is a real emergency during today’s and tomorrow’s two-day junior doctors strike.
Junior doctors at Kettering General Hospital and Northampton General Hospital are taking full industrial action between the hours of 8am and 5pm today (Tuesday, April 26) and tomorrow (Wednesday, April 27).
This is the first time in the NHS’s history that junior doctors are refusing to provide emergency cover.
Kettering General Hospital’s chief operating officer, Rebecca Brown, said: “Our priority is to keep our patients safe.
“We have been working with nursing and medical colleagues to put robust plans in place to ensure our hospital remains completely safe during the strike.
“However, we do need the wider public to understand the implications of the strike action and only use our A&E service if it is a real emergency.
“People can also help us by being on hand to provide support and transport to their family and friends who are being discharged from hospital.
“This avoids unnecessary delays and helps patients return home sooner.
“Unfortunately we have had to postpone planned surgery and outpatient appointments to ensure our staff are able to continue to deliver safe, high quality care to our patients in hospital and those who need us in an emergency.
“We are sorry for any inconvenience this causes, but patient safety is always our utmost priority.”
Consultants and other medical staff within both hospitals are still working during the strike.
Junior doctors at the community and mental health provider, Northamptonshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust, are also taking industrial action but services are not expected to be disrupted.
Appointments will be rearranged to new dates for patients as soon as possible.
During the strike period the two hospitals are continuing to provide their essential services such A&E, medical services, emergency surgery, intensive care, diagnostics, paediatrics and maternity services.
The two hospitals have issued the following advice:
- Only use A&E services at the two hospitals if it is a real emergency during this week
- If you have family or friends who are due to be discharged from the hospital during the strike period please do everything you can to help the hospitals discharge them as soon as possible
- If you are unsure about whether you need A&E care please consider advice from other healthcare practitioners such as pharmacists, GPs, Corby Urgent Care Centre, or, use the NHS 111 telephone service.