The NHS is bracing itself for disruption and asking the public to plan ahead as consultants plan for a second round of industrial action.
Consultant doctors and hospital-based dentists will be taking strike action from 7 am on Thursday (24 August) until 7 am on Saturday (26 August).
Consultants, who are the most senior clinicians, will only provide staffing levels to cover emergency care, meaning the NHS will, in effect, experience two ‘Christmas Day service’ days in a row ahead of the bank holiday weekend.
Dr Dave Briggs, Medical Director at NHS Nottingham and Nottinghamshire said: “This 48-hour strike action is just before a busy bank holiday which means NHS services will have very little time to recover from the disruption.
“In contrast to strike action among other staff groups, no other clinicians can provide cover for consultants, so this means some planned care activity will need to be rescheduled.
“We are urging the public to only attend A&E or call 999 in an emergency as services will be facing significant pressures from Thursday to Monday. You can also help by making sure you have planned ahead of the bank holiday by picking up prescriptions in advance and consulting your GP in good time if you have any concerns.
“The safety of our patients and staff remains our top priority and we would like to thank the public for their ongoing support and understanding.
“We would also like to take this opportunity to thank NHS staff who are working during these difficult periods of strike action, we understand that this must be a difficult time and we want to thank you for your continued hard work.”
“If you haven’t been contacted or informed that your planned appointment has been postponed, please attend as normal.”
The advice for the public who need care has not changed – people should use 999 in life-threatening emergencies and NHS 111 online for other health concerns. GP services and pharmacies are also available for patients and can be accessed in the normal way. You can find a full list of the pharmacies in Nottingham and Nottinghamshire open this Bank Holiday weekend on the NHS England website.