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12 January 2016, 06:38
Our local hospitals have got in touch to let us know what their plans are for the junior doctors' strike today.
Kettering General Hospital's Medical Director, Dr Andrew Chilton, said: "The Trust is working closely with doctors, and staff of all grades, across all departments, to ensure the planned industrial action does not affect patient safety.
"We do anticipate there will be an impact by the action on some routine surgical lists and some outpatient clinics. Our message to patients is that they should attend their hospital appointments as normal unless they are advised by us otherwise.
"For any patients who will be affected we will be advising them of this in advance by phone call so that we can re-arrange their appointment.
"All emergency services - such as A&E and our emergency assessment units and emergency theatres - will be operational during this first day of action and so will our wards and departments.
"Clearly though there will be a level of reduced staffing in some areas and we would appeal to the public only to use emergency services if they absolutely have to during this period.
"Whilst we are taking all possible steps to limit inconvenience and disruption we would like to apologise for any inconvenience that may arise as a result of the action."
"We are advising the majority of patients whose appointments are cancelled that in the event of the strike being called off, we will reinstate their appointments. This won't be possible for all appointments depending on the complexity of the preparations required.
"The advice to patients is:
" If you have an appointment scheduled on Tuesday and you haven't received a letter from us, please assume it is going ahead
" If you have had your appointment cancelled, and strike action is subsequently called off, please refer to the instructions in your cancellation letter
" If you're still not sure, contact the department or clinic direct to enquire
" If your appointment is reinstated but the timing didn't leave you enough notice to make arrangements to come in, you will not be classed as a DNA and your appointment will be rescheduled as quickly as possible
Plans are in place at Bedford Hospital to keep patients safe if junior doctor strike action goes ahead.
On days during strike action, the hospital has announced that whilst many hospital services will be unaffected, some non-urgent planned operations and appointments may have to be re-arranged in order to ensure vital urgent care services are delivered safely.
- The Trust is advising that all patients who have a planned operation on a day with strike action will be phoned by the hospital (with as much notice as possible) to inform them whether or not their operation will go ahead.
- Patients with other appointments, such as diagnostic and outpatient appointments, will only be contacted if their appointment needs to be cancelled, otherwise they should attend as planned.
- If any patient is unsure whether their operation or other appointments will be going ahead on any of the strike days, or they would like to check, they can contact the number on their hospital letter.
Karen Ward, Bedford Hospital Chief Operating Officer, said: ¡§We have tried and tested plans to deal with a range of disruptions, including industrial action, and over the last week we have been working closely with our commissioners and other partners to refine our contingency plans in order to minimise disruption to our services, whilst protecting the safety and welfare of our patients.
¡§Our priority first and foremost during any disruption is to protect our vital emergency and urgent care services.
¡§Over the course of the planned strike action, we will continue to keep local residents, our patients and their families, closely informed of the situation.¡¨
The hospital has also issued a reminder to local residents about using A&E services wisely over the next few weeks. Ms Ward added: ¡§As always, we would like to remind local residents to consider alternatives first, such as pharmacists, GP surgeries and the NHS 111 service.
¡§Choosing the right service for your needs helps us to focus our attention on the most seriously unwell patients and can also save you time.¡¨
Milton Keynes Hospital:
Ahead of the impending industrial action by junior doctors in England on the 12 and 13 January, Milton Keynes University Hospital has been working tirelessly with the British Medical Association to minimise disruption to our services.
The hospital has contingency plans in place to ensure that patients in need of urgent and emergency care will continue to receive the treatment they need, when they need it. However, due to increased pressures on the hospital over this period those in less urgent need of care may experience longer waiting times than normal and some planned clinics and operations may need to be postponed and rearranged. In all cases priority will be given to those patients with the most pressing health needs.
Professor Martin Wetherill, Medical Director at Milton Keynes University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, said: "Let me assure the local public that our staff will continue to provide excellent care throughout the three periods of industrial action and ensure all of our patients remain safe.
"The hospital has robust and extensive plans in place for all the emergency patients who will be attending between 8am on the 12th January to 8am on the 13th January. We have tried and tested these plans to minimise any disruption during this period and, most importantly, to keep our patients safe and thank visitors in advance for their patience during these periods.
"We are contacting those patients that are affected by the reduction in our elective services and for those whose services have been postponed; we will be in touch to rearrange appointments as soon as we can."
Luton & Dunstable Hospital:
Junior Doctors industrial action – Tuesday 12 January 2016
Marion Collict, Director of Operations, said: “This is a national dispute which relates to the Government’s proposals to introduce a new junior doctors’ contract, and is not directed at individual hospitals”.
“As you would expect, our overriding priority is to ensure that the strike does not compromise the care we provide to our patients and their families”. “We have been working with clinical colleagues across the Trust to maintain adequate staffing levels so that our patients, including emergency and urgent admissions, will continue to be cared for in a safe and appropriate manner”. “Emergency care is not affected by this strike as junior doctors will continue to work in those areas. If the strike proceeds as currently planned the majority of our outpatients and surgical procedures will be unaffected. Some elective care will need to be rescheduled and we apologise to patients for the inconvenience this may cause. We will be in communication with any patient whose appointment
East & North Herts NHS Trust (Lister Hospital & QEII Hospital in Welwyn Garden City)
At 8.00am on Tuesday, 12 January 2016 junior doctors at the Trust are expected to join industrial action being taken nationally by the British Medical Association (BMA). During a 24-hour period finishing at 8.00am on Wednesday, 13 January 2016, services at the Trust's hospitals will be affected as follows:
" A&E and urgent care centre services will continue to operate as normal, although as some support services may be affected waiting times may be longer;
" Some clinic appointments and planned surgery will be postponed.
The Trust's chief executive, Nick Carver, said:
"Like all NHS organisations across the country, we have tried and tested contingency plans to deal with a wide range of disruptions, including industrial action. These plans, which have been developed locally with the support of our NHS colleagues across the county, are in place to protect the safety, welfare and service provided to our patients.
"The BMA's local representatives have worked with us to ensure that all junior doctors working in our hospitals are clear about what services are affected by the industrial action that they are proposing to take on 12 January 2016 as part of a national dispute. In essence, we are planning for this day as if it were a bank holiday.
"We expect our A&E, urgent care centre and other emergency services to continue functioning as normal. It is possible that waiting times may be longer for some patients as there may be delays experienced due to the impact of industrial action on other support services used by our A&E teams.
"More than ever, where someone's life is not in danger but urgent medical attention is deemed necessary, people are being asked to please call NHS111 first. Its staff will be able to advise about the best services to use locally."
West Herts NHS Trust (Hemel Hempstead, St Albans & Watford Hospitals):
Making sure our ward patients as well as urgent and emergency admissions are looked after safely during this industrial action has been our number one priority, following national guidance from NHS England and the Trust Development Authority.
Having worked hard with our senior clinical leaders to put in place our business continuity plans, we're pleased to report that the majority of our services will run tomorrow.
However, we are asking patients to please bear with us if their care and treatment takes us more time than usual.
We have written to a small number of patients apologising that if the strike goes ahead their appointments or planned surgery will be postponed for safety reasons.
We also ask patients not to call us as we will be in touch to rearrange their appointments as soon as possible. Our website will remain updated.