Planning for industrial action & possible disruption to some services
Following a recent ballot, it has been confirmed that some junior doctors who are part of the British Medical Association (BMA) and the Hospital Consultants and Specialists Association (HCSA) will be taking part in planned industrial action from Monday 13th to Thursday 16th March.
We expect some junior doctors working in Surrey to take part and we fully support them, whether they choose to participate or not.
As a local health and care system, we are working together to plan for this period and we are working closely with our staff to minimise any potential disruption to services.
However, as junior doctors work across many different services and organisation, and this planned industrial action is expected to take place for 72 hours, we are expecting to see some impact locally, with some outpatients appointments and planned operations rescheduled where necessary so frontline teams can prioritise critical services and caring for those who are seriously ill. We will prioritise resources to protect emergency treatment, critical care, neonatal care, and trauma, and ensure we prioritise patients who have waited the longest for elective care and cancer surgery.
Ahead of the planned action next week, we are asking people in Surrey to plan ahead by making sure they have requested repeat prescriptions in advance – either by making an online request, requesting a repeat prescription through the NHS App or contacting their GP practice.
During the planned industrial action next week we are encouraging residents to help the local NHS during what we expect to be a particularly busy time by following this advice:
- Regardless of any strike action taking place, it’s really important that patients who need urgent medical care continue to come forward as normal, especially in emergency and life-threatening cases - when someone is seriously ill or injured, or their life is at risk.
- The NHS is asking patients to use services wisely during industrial action and take simple steps to help ensure care is available to patients who need it most. This includes using 111 online as the first port of call for health needs and advice or calling 111 if people do not have access to the internet.
- People should only use 999 and A&E for serious or life-threatening conditions or medical emergencies (when someone is seriously ill or injured and their life is at risk).
- If people haven’t been contacted, we are asking them to attend their appointment as planned. The NHS will contact people directly if appointments need to be rescheduled due to strike action.
Industrial action places more pressure on local services so we would ask people to be patient and kind to staff if services are busier and waits in A&E and walk-in centres are longer than usual.