Hospital braced for doctors’ strike

The University Hospital of Hartlepool.
The University Hospital of Hartlepool.

Health bosses have urged patients not to overstretch services as junior doctors walk out on strike over the next two days.

Medics will be striking from 8am to 5pm each day.

Trust spokeswoman

Essential care will be provided by senior staff. You can help the NHS cope by choosing the right service and attending A&E only if it is essential.

A North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust spokeswoman said plans were in place to cope with the action, but some disruption was inevitable.

“Essential care will be provided by senior staff. You can help the NHS cope by choosing the right service and attending A&E only if it is essential,” she said.

“Contingency plans are in place and we have made every effort to ensure that anyone visiting hospital during this time will not be badly disrupted.

“All patients with appointments should still attend unless you have been contacted by us to change that appointment. Some delays are expected – please bear with us.

“People can help us during this busy time by working with us to help to get their relatives home or to a nursing or care home safely when they are well enough to leave hospital; using accident and emergency appropriately – as its name suggests, it is for serious illnesses and injuries; having a well-stocked medicine and first aid cabinet at home, and visiting their GP, a walk in centre or talking to their local pharmacist.”

Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt said today’s strike “risks the safety of many patients” but the British Medical Association (BMA) rejected his claims the main sticking point in talks was Saturday pay.

On Saturday, a coalition of MPs urged Mr Hunt to test the contested new work contract in a small number of trusts rather than impose it across England.