NHS advice for upcoming junior doctor industrial action

19th June 2024

The NHS is reminding people living in Norfolk and Waveney how they can seek medical help during upcoming British Medical Association (BMA) junior doctor industrial action.

The British Medical Association (BMA) has announced junior doctors will take strike action, from 7am on 27 June 2024 and ending 7am on 2 July 2024, as part of an ongoing dispute between junior doctors and government.

The NHS is working hard to ensure adequate staffing through the entirety of urgent care pathways, urgent elective cases, and other critical services. However, the disruption to staffing will cause a significant reduction in elective activity and this may mean some appointments and procedures may need to be rescheduled.

Help us to help you by:

  • Attending your NHS appointments (including GP and dental) as planned. We’ll contact you if your appointment needs to be rescheduled due to strike action.
  • Looking after yourself and your loved ones and checking in on vulnerable family members and neighbours. The British weather can be unpredictable so please look out for those who may be affected if we are hit with higher temperatures.
  • Ensuring you have a fully stocked first aid kit and medicine cabinet to quickly tackle minor ailments at home.
  • Checking and ordering prescribed medications in advance. This can be done via the NHS App, though your GP practice website or, if you do not have access to GP online services, by calling your GP practice.
  • Choosing services appropriately during industrial action and take simple steps to help ensure care is available to patients who need it most. This includes using NHS 111 online as the first port of call for health needs, and calling 999 or using A&E if it is a serious or life-threatening emergency.
  • Continuing to be patient and understanding with our staff working during industrial action. Services may feel different, have longer waits or appointments may be deferred. Staff should be treated with respect and there is a zero tolerance of abuse of any kind.

If you need urgent health help now or during industrial action, you can view a list of services in Norfolk and Waveney.

26th June 2024

NHS in East of England set for disruption as five-day junior doctor strike begins during hottest week of the year so far

The NHS in the East of England is bracing itself for major disruption, as five days of strike action by junior doctors begins tomorrow, with services already experiencing high demand.

With the region under a yellow heat health alert, meaning the hot weather has potential for significant impact across health and social care with those who are vulnerable particularly at risk, the NHS is urging the public to use services carefully. NHS 111 services will be available for urgent needs, and 999 for emergencies.

The latest strike action will run from 7am tomorrow (Thursday 27 June) until 7am on Tuesday 2 July, with consultants – who make up half of the medical workforce – covering for junior doctors. Most routine care during this time will be affected, with urgent and emergency care prioritised.

During the most recent action in February, 9,474 inpatient and outpatient appointments in the East of England were rescheduled, and 2,867 staff were absent from work at the peak of the strikes.

Last month was the busiest May on record for demand on the country’s urgent and emergency services, with the highest number of A&E attendances for the month of May as well as it being the busiest May for the most urgent ambulance call-outs.

This latest round of industrial action is expected to disrupt routine care across many services and lead to delays discharging patients. Through careful planning, cover has been put in place, and some planned appointments rescheduled, to help reduce the impact of the strike.

Unless advised otherwise, patients should still attend their appointments.

Dr Edward Morris, medical director for the NHS in the east of England said:“With the latest strikes set to start tomorrow in amongst the hottest week of the year so far, we are bracing ourselves for widespread disruption and significant pressure on the region’s NHS services, with almost all routine care likely to be adversely affected.

“The hot weather will only add to this pressure, so anyone experiencing discomfort should check NHS advice on coping with the heat – such as by staying inside or in the shade during the hottest part of the day and drinking plenty of fluids. “Please use NHS 111, either via the NHS App, online, or by phone for any health concerns – or 999 in life-threatening emergencies. Patients can also still access GP services and pharmacies in the usual way. Unless contacted, you should still attend any planned appointments.”