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Junior doctors’ strike—what you need to know

01 April 2016

The British Medical Association has confirmed further dates of proposed strike action. This means that, from 8am on Wednesday 6 April until 8am on Friday 8 April, junior doctors will only be providing emergency care at hospitals across England for this 48 hour period.

The British Medical Association has confirmed further dates of proposed strike action. This means that from 8am on Wednesday 6 April until 8am on Friday 8 April junior doctors will only be providing emergency care at hospitals across England during this 48-hour period.

Our Trust—which represents Chelsea and Westminster Hospital, West Middlesex University Hospital and a range of community clinics—is working hard to ensure that the quality and safety of care that we provide to patients is maintained during this period of strike action. Our focus during this timeframe will therefore be on providing emergency and maternity care, care to patients staying on our wards and cancer patients. 

Emergency care will be prioritised—we expect to run all urgent and emergency care services (including A&E and maternity).

Consultants will cover the usual duties of our junior doctors on our hospital wards to ensure the safety of inpatients. Other clinical staff including nurses, midwives and allied health professionals will be providing further clinical resilience to ensure the safety of our patients. 

Questions and answers 

What does this mean for patients and local people? 

The safety of our patients during industrial action is our number one priority. All departments have reviewed services and staffing on the planned strike dates to continue to ensure emergency care and safe cover during this period.

See below about appointments booked on the days of the strike.

What will this mean for emergency care?

Emergency care will continue, but please remember that emergency services are for those who are seriously ill, with a life-threatening condition such as severe chest pain, breathing difficulties and severe bleeding that cannot be stopped.

The NHS 111 telephone service provides free advice and information 24/7, with trained advisers and medical staff who can assess your condition and point you towards the right service. Many common winter ailments can be treated at home, with advice from a pharmacist. Your family doctor should continue to be the first port of call for general health issues and advice.

What if I already have an appointment booked during the days of the strike?

The safety of our patients during industrial action is our number one priority. All departments have reviewed services and rotas on the planned strike dates to confirm the provision of safe cover. Our focus is on essential work, namely emergency and maternity care, patients on our wards and cancer patients. 

In terms of planned hospital appointments during this period of strike action, consultants have reviewed the full list of patients scheduled to be seen those days to identify those that we need to prioritise based on their clinical needs. These patients will not have their appointments cancelled in the event of the strike proceeding and have already been contacted to tell them that they should still attend their appointment.

For all other patients scheduled to be seen on either Wednesday 6 April or Thursday 7 April for non-urgent appointments, we have already contacted them to say their appointment has been cancelled due to the strike action and we will be in touch shortly to reschedule this for them.

We hope that these two approaches will mean that we can keep patients safe.