September 2023 Advice for patients during the latest industrial action by doctors

September 19, 2023

People urged to support the NHS over the coming weeks as it braces for latest industrial action

Junior doctors and consultants in England are taking joint strike action for the first time in the coming weeks.

The British Medical Association has confirmed there are nine days of industrial action planned for the coming weeks as part of a national dispute between the Government and doctors’ Trades Unions about terms and conditions:

  • Consultants will be taking industrial action on 19 and 20 September.
  • Junior doctors will also be on strike on 20, 21 and 22 September.
  • Both consultants and junior doctors will strike together on 2, 3 and 4 October.

People are being urged to continue to support the NHS during the strike days by using the right health service to meet their needs, and help to ensure emergency care is available for those in most need.

Local people are being asked to take the following actions:

  • Choose the most appropriate NHS service for needs and only use 999 and A&E or Emergency Departments for serious or life-threatening emergencies.
  • Use an alternative NHS service and to use NHS 111 first either online or by phone for anything that isn’t a life-saving emergency.
  • Know it may take longer than expected to be seen and treated for those patients who attend emergency departments, but do not have time-critical or life-threatening conditions.
  • Collect family and friends from hospital as soon as they are ready to be discharged.
  • Stay away from hospitals if showing the symptoms of flu or COVID-19 (or have been in contact with someone who has tested positive), unless it is an emergency.

The NHS will prioritise patient safety during the periods of industrial action, with health and care partners working together to ensure that critical services will continue to be available.

Planned appointments and clinics are will be affected, however people should still continue to attend their appointments unless they are contacted directly by the NHS.

Patients do not need to contact their NHS service or team in advance, the team will contact patients directly if an appointment needs to be rescheduled.

For more information please visit the NHS Sussex website here.

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