Response to junior doctors Industrial Action (13 – 16 March)

17th March 2023

Dear colleagues,

We are writing again to personally thank you all for your dedication and hard work you have shown over the last few days to help keep patients safe and minimise disruption during the junior doctor’s industrial action across Norfolk and Waveney.

Emergency departments were under significant pressure, with our hospitals seeing their busiest Monday of the year so far for A&E attendance as strike action got underway, which presented a major challenge as we continued to do all we could to mitigate the impact for patients.

We want to formally thank and recognise the enormous efforts of all involved in planning and implementing our response to this.

To the consultants who worked in a completely different way, covering our wards, admission areas and emergency department.

To the pharmacists, AHPs and nurses who went the extra mile to support our patients during this time.

To the admin teams who contacted so many patients to reorganise their planned care, and to keep them informed before during and after the industrial action, as well as for supporting the clinical staff on the days of the strike.

To the digital and training staff who provided vital support to clinicians using unfamiliar systems and technology.

To primary care, our out-of-hours and ambulance providers who have gone above and beyond to provide alternatives to hospital attendance.

To the operational teams, and senior managers who worked tirelessly to coordinate these efforts, trying hard to minimise the impact the action will have had on both patients and staff.

And to all the other staff, volunteers, drivers and colleagues outside the NHS and across the system who have worked tirelessly pulled together during this incredibly challenging week. We are incredibly grateful for your hard work, imagination, advice and support .

And we are incredibly proud of the way our health and care system in Norfolk and Waveney has come together at such speed given the complexities involved and the significant pressures faced by services. It has provided us with another opportunity to strengthen our approach to work more collaboratively with partners across the ICS system to deliver support and care our communities need.

The NHS has been through a period like no other, and recovery will take time. We wanted to applaud your positivity, flexibility and diligence and we are hugely grateful for your dedication to your local community.

With our sincerest thanks and best wishes,

Dr Frankie Swords, Executive Medical Director
NHS Norfolk and Waveney Integrated Care Board

Ema Ojiako, Executive Director of People
NHS Norfolk and Waveney Integrated Care Board

Tracey Bleakley, Chief Executive
NHS Norfolk and Waveney Integrated Care Board (ICB)

Tricia D’Orsi, Executive Director of Nursing
NHS Norfolk and Waveney Integrated Care Board