11 July 2023

A message from our colleagues at NHS Shropshire, Telford and Wrekin

Health care leaders across Shropshire, Telford and Wrekin say they expect significant disruption for patients during the latest round of strike action and are urging people to think wisely, use NHS 111 online (if they are unsure on where to go), and only attend an Emergency Department if it’s absolutely necessary to ensure that care is available to patients who need it during the planned industrial action.

The British Medical Association (BMA) has announced that junior doctors will take part in a five-day, 120 hour, industrial action strike, from 7am on Thursday 13 July until 7am on Tuesday 18 July. Senior doctors and hospital consultants will then also be striking for a further 48 hours, from 7am on Thursday 20 July until 7am on Saturday 22 July.

Leaders say these strikes will impact both routine and emergency care.

It is really important people do not delay seeking help from the NHS if they feel unwell, but need to be aware that things will be working differently and with fewer staff than normal on these days.

The best way to get urgent medical help is to visit 111.nhs.uk or call 111 for anything that feels urgent, or if you are unsure what to do. But, if it’s a life-threatening emergency, please do call 999 or come straight to your local emergency department.

Alison Bussey, Chief Nursing Officer at NHS Shropshire, Telford and Wrekin Integrated Care Board, said: “The care and safety of people who use our services is our highest priority, and it is important that people continue to use our services when they need them.

“During the industrial action, the NHS services and hospital services in particular, will be working really hard to keep important services like emergency treatment, critical care, neonatal care, maternity, and trauma open and running smoothly.

“However, we do know that the strike will mean that our elective or planned services, so our operations and outpatient appointments, will be affected.

““You will be contacted by your hospital or system provider if that affects you. If you do not hear from the NHS, please continue to attend your appointment, wherever that might be.”

“General practices, community pharmacies and minor injury units will remain open and will be there to help and support you.

“You can help us by making sure you use services efficiently and effectively, and only using emergency services when they are really required. If you can, try using 111 online as your first point of call, and only use 999 in an emergency.”

Here are some key points to remember:

  • Life-threatening emergency or serious injury: call 999 or go to your nearest Emergency Department (A&E)
  • For medical attention and advice – use NHS 111 online or call NHS 111 as the first port of call
  • Local Minor Injury Units, GP surgeries and pharmacies are not impacted by this strike action. Please continue to attend your GP appointments, unless you are contacted and told otherwise.
  • If we have not contacted you, please attend your appointment as planned. The NHS will contact you if your appointment needs to be rescheduled due to strike action.
  • The NHS is also asking the public to play their part by taking simple steps during industrial action to look after themselves, loved ones and checking in on vulnerable family members and neighbours.

More information about the industrial action can be found on the NHS England website.

To find out more about which service to use, people can visit www.thinkwhichservice.co.uk online and follow the campaign on social media using #ThinkWhichService.