19/12/2023 - Permalink

Significant pressure over festive period as further industrial action is planned

Related topics: Health / Partner organisations

News from our partners – NHS Shropshire, Telford and Wrekin Integrated Care System (ICS)

The NHS in Shropshire, Telford and Wrekin is working hard to face ‘significant pressure and disruption’ this festive period with further strikes planned.

GP practices will continue to be open during junior doctors strikes

GP practices will continue to be open during junior doctors strikes

Junior doctors who are members of the British Medical Association (BMA) and the Hospital Consultants and Specialists Association (HCSA) will be striking from 7am on Wednesday 20 December to 7am on Saturday 23 December 2023.

Further strike action by junior doctors who are members of the BMA will take place from 7am Wednesday 3 January to 7am 9 January 2024.

This strike action will affect NHS trusts across the country, including the Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital NHS Trust, Robert Jones and Agnes Hunt Orthopaedic Hospital and Shropshire Community Health NHS Trust. The industrial action is a national dispute between the Government and Trades Unions about terms and conditions.

The safety of patients and staff remains top priority. Staff across Shropshire, Telford and Wrekin are working together to ensure adequate staffing level through all services. However, the disruption to staffing will cause a significant reduction in non-emergency services and this may mean some appointments and procedures may need to be rescheduled.

If we have not contacted you, please attend your appointment as planned. The NHS will contact you if your appointment needs to be rearranged due to strike action.

Vanessa Whatley, Interim Chief Nursing Officer for NHS Shropshire, Telford and Wrekin, said:

“With the three-day strike ahead of Christmas and a six-day strike – the longest walkout in NHS history – in the new year, our hospitals will undoubtedly be facing significant pressure and disruption.

“During this time, we are asking people to choose services appropriately and take simple steps to help ensure care is available to patients who need it most.

“If you think you need medical help right now but aren’t sure what to do, please use NHS 111 online first. NHS 111 will direct you to the right place for your medical needs. Only using 999 if it is a serious or life-threatening emergency.

“Regardless of any strike action taking place, it is really important that people who need urgent medical care continue to come forward as normal, especially in emergency and serious life-threatening cases – when someone is seriously ill or injured, or their life is at risk.”

We have now seen over a year of industrial action across the NHS and staff continue to work hard to provide patients with the best possible care under the circumstances. Industrial action has impacted over a million hospital appointments across the NHS.

Vanessa, commented:

“We are extremely grateful for the way the public have supported the NHS throughout this lengthy period of industrial action and for continuing to use NHS services appropriately during these times of pressure.”

The NHS is also asking the public to play their part by taking simple steps during industrial action to look after themselves, loved ones and checking in on vulnerable family members and neighbours.

Here are some key points to remember:

  • Life-threatening emergency or serious injury: call 999 or go to your nearest Emergency Department (A&E)
  • For medical attention and advice – use NHS 111 as the first port of call. The NHS 111 service is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. NHS 111 is available on the NHS app, NHS 111 online or call 111.
  • Local Minor Injury Units, GP surgeries and pharmacies are not impacted by this strike action. Please continue to attend your GP appointments, unless you are contacted and told otherwise.
  • If we have not contacted you, please attend your appointment as planned. The NHS will contact you if your appointment needs to be rescheduled due to strike action.

More information about the industrial action can be found on the NHS England website.

Further information

For more information please contact: 
Harriet Hopkins

Communications and Engagement Lead
NHS Shropshire, Telford & Wrekin
E-mail: harriet.hopkins@nhs.net

Note to editors:

NHS Shropshire, Telford and Wrekin Integrated Care Board was created on 1 July 2022, replacing NHS Shropshire, Telford and Wrekin Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG). We are part of Shropshire Telford and Wrekin Integrated Care System.

We are responsible for planning and buying a wide range of health and care services for the whole of the county.

We work closely with our partner organisations across the county, including the two local authorities, the 51 GP practices, the hospitals and the voluntary and community sector, to plan and deliver joined up health and care services.

To find out more visit: www.shropshiretelfordandwrekin.nhs.uk