NHS organisations in Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland are asking people to make sensible choices during the upcoming junior doctors’ strike, when all NHS services are expected to be under greater pressure than normal.
Junior doctors are due to go on strike from 7am tomorrow (Wednesday, June 14), until 7am on Saturday, June 17 – the latest in a series of walkouts this year, which have taken place over pay.
The British Medical Association said junior doctors have seen a massive drop in their pay by about 26 per cent in the past 15 years. They now want the Government to return junior doctor pay to 2008 levels in one go, which the Government says it can’t afford. The Government has put a five per cent pay offer on the table.
NHS Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland has said services are expected to be under greater pressure than normal. They are calling on the public to do their bit in easing the strain by accessing care in a way appropriate to their needs.
Dr Nil Sanganee, Chief Medical Officer for NHS Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland Integrated Care Board said: “The local NHS has been planning for the industrial action to ensure we can continuously provide safe care for patients that need it. It is still likely to be a very challenging time and we do need the public to help us again by choosing wisely so we can help them get the right care as quickly as possible. “
Even though the NHS is expected to be busier than normal, people are advised to continue coming forward for care, including calling 999 if it’s serious or a life-threatening emergency.
They should attend any booked appointments, unless the NHS has already told them that they need to reschedule.
GP practices will be open as normal, so people should continue to use them for anything urgent and that they can’t treat themselves.
Dr Sanganee continued: “What is most important is that people do come forward if they need medical assistance and attend any booked appointments. GP practices are open as normal during the strike so you should continue to use them for anything non-life threatening or routine, or that you haven’t been able to manage yourself.”
For urgent health needs people are asked to use NHS 111 as the first port of call by visiting www.111.nhs.uk.
For urgent mental health problems, people can call the Mental Health Central Access Point on 0808 800 3302. There is also a range of Neighbourhood Mental Health Cafes available across Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland. Full details are available on the Leicestershire Partnership Trust website: https://www.leicspart.nhs.uk/service/neighbourhood-mh-cafes/ .
People can look after many minor illnesses and injuries themselves at home, but if they need any extra support they can visit www.111.nhs.uk.
People in Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland can find out which service to use, depending on their needs, at: www.leicesterleicestershireandrutland.icb.nhs.uk/right-now/ so that they can get the right care, in the right place, at the right time.
Andrew Furlong, Medical Director/Deputy Chief Executive Officer for University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust said: “The whole NHS is likely to be pressured during the industrial action. We are well prepared, and focussed on providing a safe urgent and emergency care service to all who need it.
“The public can help us by calling 999 in a life-threatening emergency only. You can click or call 111 for non-life threatening care, helping you get to the right place for your needs first time. Local pharmacies can help with less serious ailments.
“Anyone with a hospital appointment should continue to attend as planned unless they have been contacted to rearrange.”
Sanjay Rao, a consultant psychiatrist for Leicestershire Partnership NHS Trust, said: “Crisis mental health services remain open. Our Mental Health Central Access Point is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, on freephone 0808 800 3302. As well as assessments and early interventions where needed, the service aims to reduce the pressure on other services, particularly emergency services, by offering an alternative to NHS111 and the emergency department. Anyone needing mental health support for themselves or others can call this service. If there is an immed