With junior doctors and consultants set to go on strike together on the same day for the first time ever, south west Londoners are being reminded that the NHS is still there for them if they need it.
Consultants and junior doctors are both due to strike for at least two days next week with a joint walkout planned on Wednesday 20 September.
South West London’s medical director Dr John Byrne reiterated previous requests for patients to use services wisely by continuing to call 999 in a life-threatening emergency and going to NHS 111 online for all non-urgent health needs.
He also reminded people that pharmacies and GPs are largely unaffected by the strikes, so patients can still get appointments and health advice.
Dr Byrne said: “We know we’ve asked the public to help their local NHS during a number of strikes now, but we don’t want this message to lose its importance.
“Once again, we ask for your help during this period – please look after yourselves, check on vulnerable friends and relatives and if you do need us, think about the most appropriate service to use.
“During strike action emergency treatment will be prioritised, so it’s important that people who need urgent medical care still come forward, especially if you have a life-threatening illness or injury when you should still call 999.
“If you need medical help or advice, or you are unsure about whether you should go to hospital, go to 111.nhs.uk while local pharmacies or general practice are also available.
“NHS staff have made incredible efforts to keep critical services running, but the reality is that despite their great work to minimise the disruption – and worries that come with that – unfortunately patients face postponements to their treatment.
“Appointments will only be rescheduled where necessary and the NHS will contact you if this is the case. If you miss an appointment, please re-book and come forward for the care you need.”
- Consultants are due to strike on Tuesday 19 September and Wednesday 20 September
- Junior doctors are set to walk out on Wednesday 20 September, Thursday 21 September and Friday 22 September.
More strikes are expected next month with consultants, junior doctors and radiographers due to walk out jointly.
- Consultants are set to walk out between Monday 2 October and Wednesday 4 October
- Junior doctors plan to strike from Monday 2 October to Wednesday 4 October
- Radiographers are due to strike for 24 hours from 8am on Tuesday 3 October.