Unprecedented double strike action this week represents major challenge to region’s NHS planned care

From tomorrow, Tuesday 19 September, consultants will begin their latest strike action and then be joined by junior doctors on Wednesday 20 September.

This will mean that from 7AM on Wednesday 20 September, Christmas day levels of staffing will be offered by both consultants and junior doctors, while still providing emergency care. Both groups will then strike together again between 2 – 4 October, only providing Christmas day cover.

NHS staff across the region will continue to work hard providing patients with the best possible care, despite industrial action now entering its tenth month, causing widespread disruption.

As the region’s NHS braces itself for this unprecedented walkout, the public is reminded to continue using health services as they would normally, using 999 and A&E in life threatening situations. For any other health concerns, the public is urged to access 111 online and is reminded that GPs and pharmacies can also be contacted as usual for health advice and appointments.

Adam Cayley, Chief Operating Officer for the NHS in the east of England said:  “As a result of this unprecedented industrial action this week, thousands of appointments have had to be postponed. We understand how frustrating this is for patients and their families, as well as representing a huge challenge for NHS colleagues in the east of England.

“We urge the public to use the NHS wisely at this time when we will be prioritising emergency care. Please use 999 and A&E when you have an emergency need, but for everything else, access 111 online or use NHS community services such as GPs and pharmacies, which are unaffected. If you have a patient appointment and haven’t yet been told it has been cancelled, please continue to attend as normal.”