HEALTH chiefs at Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust (WAHT) say 22 junior doctors have not come in to work due to strike action by members of the British Medical Association.
In total some 209 doctors would normally be working on a Tuesday, the majority of these – 90 – are foundation level doctors.
The trust, which runs the Alexandra Hospital in Redditch, Worcestershire Royal Hospital in Worcester and Kidderminster General Hospital, says six elective operations were cancelled yesterday (Monday) ahead of the 24 hour industrial action.
In addition 68 outpatients appointments were cancelled ahead of today’s industrial action.
The 24 hours industrial action, in opposition to a change in working conditions and pay, began at 8am today (Tuesday) and runs until 8am tomorrow morning (Wednesday).
A trust spokesperson said: “We have contacted all affected patients to inform them of their cancelled appointment due to the industrial action. Patients have been advised that if the strike does not go ahead then they should attend their appointment as normal. If patients are unsure then they should ring the number on the top of their appointment letter.”
He added that the Trust expects to provide as full a service as it possibly can during this period and that patient care and safety was the driver behind their decisions.
“Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust would like to assure patients and the general public that:
“1) We have tried and tested plans to deal with a range of disruptions including industrial action. We are working with the NHS to ensure there are robust plans that protect the safety, welfare and service provided to patients.
“2) Plans are in place across the country to deliver emergency care but in some places the NHS service may be under significant pressure. We want people to plan so they know what to do if they need medical care during the course of this industrial action.
23) 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 NHS over this period, those in less urgent need of care may experience longer waiting times than normal and some elective operations may need to be postponed or rearranged. In all cases priority will be given to those patients with the most pressing health needs.”
Other healthcare options available instead of calling 999 including visiting the local pharmacist or GP, calling NHS 111 or using NHS Choices (www.nhs.uk).
“For those who are on regular medication, have a long-term illnesses and the elderly, if you feel unwell please do not wait, take advice from your GP or pharmacist, or contact NHS111 and if you have regular medication – please make sure you have collected your prescription from the GP and have been to the pharmacist to collect it, and have it to hand,” added the spokesman.