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Monday 16th January
Public urged to use health services appropriately ahead of upcoming NHS industrial action
The Royal College of Nursing has confirmed that members at a number of NHS organisations across Cheshire and Merseyside plan to join strike action this Wednesday (January 18th) and Thursday (January 19th).
GMB members at Mersey Care NHS Foundation Trust also plan to join strike action on Wednesday, January 18th ahead of further planned action by North West Ambulance Service staff on Monday, January 23rd and Tuesday, January 24th.
Health leaders admit it is inevitable that there will be some service disruption on and around strike days and are urging people to make NHS 111 Online their first port of call for non-emergency health needs.
Dr Fiona Lemmens, Deputy Medical Director at NHS Cheshire and Merseyside, said:
“The NHS has tried and tested plans in place to mitigate risks to patient safety and manage any disruption, including industrial action, but inevitably there will be some service disruption.
“Emergency care and other critical services such as maternity departments will be open as usual but, with NHS services already under pressure, it is vital that people use the available services appropriately.
“If you need to access a healthcare service, but it’s not an emergency, please use NHS 111 Online to ensure you are signposted to the right service first time.”
Local NHS services will keep their websites and social media accounts up-to-date with information about any local service disruption – so please check before you travel.
Dr Lemmens added: “The NHS will do everything it can to go ahead with planned procedures – especially for patients in greatest clinical need – and will contact you if your appointment needs to be rescheduled. If you have not been contacted, please attend your appointment as planned. Irrespective of any industrial action, please do not hesitate to come forward to access care if you need it.”
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
More information about when to call 999 and when to go to A&E is available via the national NHS website.