Health chiefs warn of 'significant' impact on Banbury and Oxford hospitals as doctors and consultants strike together
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For the first time since the latest set of NHS strikes started last year, junior doctors and consultants will be taking industrial action on the same day (Wednesday, September 20).
"This is highly likely to have a significant impact on health services across Buckinghamshire, Oxfordshire and Berkshire West (BOB),” said a spokesman for the Integrated Care Board (ICB) which has taken over NHS management for the region.
Consultants will begin strike action at 7am tomorrow (Tuesday) until am on Thursday. Junior doctors will begin strike action on Wednesday at 7am until 7am on Saturday, September 23. A picket will be held outside the JR Hospital, Oxford from 9.30am-11.30am on Wednesday only.
“The NHS is working to prioritise resources to protect emergency treatment, critical care, neonatal care, maternity, and trauma, and ensure priority for patients who have waited the longest for elective care and cancer surgery,” said the BOB spokesman.
"The NHS will only reschedule appointments and procedures where necessary and will rebook immediately, where possible. Unfortunately, these strikes will affect planned and routine services.”
Patients who have a scheduled appointment should attend as planned unless they hear from the NHS directly that the appointment has been changed.
In the meantime, people can help by using 111 online https://111.nhs.uk/ to get the best service for their needs, ensuring prescriptions are up to date and looking out for vulnerable family and friends.
Dr Nick Broughton, interim Chief Executive of the NHS Buckinghamshire, Oxfordshire and Berkshire West Integrated Care Board, said: "NHS staff working during the industrial action will be working hard in hospitals, community teams, GP services and pharmacies to keep people safe and respond to their needs. NHS staff are working very hard during a very challenging time – please do treat them with respect. We appreciate people's understanding and co-operation during this time.”
Dr Rachael de Caux, Chief Medical Officer of the NHS Buckinghamshire, Oxfordshire and Berkshire West Integrated Care Board and consultant in Emergency Medicine said: “It is important that patients who need urgent medical care continue to come forward as normal, especially in emergency and life-threatening cases - when someone is seriously ill or injured, or their life is at risk.
“We expect Emergency Departments to be very busy during strike action so please think carefully about choosing the most appropriate NHS Service for your needs and only use 999 and A&E for serious or life threatening emergencies, such as chest pain, severe bleeding or breathing difficulties. NHS 111 online remains the best place to help you get to the part of the NHS that can best respond to your needs.”
Continue to access GPs as normal
Call 111 to get the right service for your needs
Make sure prescriptions are up to date
Stay safe and look out for vulnerable family and friends
Keep appointments unless you are contacted by the NHS with alternative arrangements
Remember A&E is for emergencies and life-threatening situations.