Hospital consultants in Cheshire and Merseyside striking for the first time this week
Tuesday, 18 July 2023
This week sees hospital consultants strike in Cheshire and Merseyside, the first action of its type since NHS industrial action began in December 2022.
Hospital consultants across the region will walk-out from 7am on Thursday, July 20th, to 7am on Saturday, July 22nd.
NHS Trusts across Cheshire and Merseyside are set to be severely impacted by these strikes, and the public are being advised that significant service disruption is highly likely.
Emergency services will remain in place on Thursday and Friday, with staffing levels in line with that in place on ‘Christmas Day’. This will ensure that emergency care continues to be provided and that patients remain safe while consultants take lawful industrial action, but disruption should be expected and elective or non-emergency care will be significantly impacted.
Health leaders are therefore urging members of the public to use NHS 111 Online for all non-emergency healthcare needs.
The online service works the same as over the phone and is already popular with people who want quick advice about the best options for getting the care they need. These can include a call back from a trained clinician or nurse, an appointment in A&E or important advice.
NHS Cheshire and Merseyside Medical Director, Prof Rowan Pritchard-Jones said:
“We are now in the eighth month of industrial action across the NHS, and staff continue to work tirelessly to provide patients with the best possible care under the circumstances.
“The NHS has tried and tested plans in place to mitigate risks to patient safety and manage the disruption caused by industrial action, but this week’s strikes by hospital consultants will inevitably lead to significant disruption for many patients.
“Consultants are senior doctors who not only see patients but are also responsible for supervising junior doctors and other staff. When consultants take strike action this week, they will stop delivering care directly or providing supervision of the work of our junior staff. Without supervision, it may not be possible for some care delivered by junior doctors, or other staff to take place safely.
“However, we want to reiterate that urgent and emergency care services will be open, and in the event of a life or limb-threatening emergency you should always call 999.
“If it’s not an emergency, please use NHS 111 Online to ensure you are signposted to the right service first time.”
Your hospital care provider will contact you directly if your appointment is affected – so please attend as planned if you have not heard from them in advance.
Local NHS services will be using their websites and social media channels to provide up to date information to the public about local service disruption – so patients are urged to check for updates before they travel.
NHS 111 Online can tell you:
- Where to get help for your symptoms
- How to find general health information and advice
- Where to get an emergency supply of your prescribed medicine
- How to get a repeat prescription
- How to get an emergency dental appointment