Health services are preparing to be under 'significant pressure' during the three-day strike planned by junior doctors next week.
This latest round of industrial action has been announced by the British Medical Association (BMA) and is due to take place from Wednesday 14 June until Saturday 17 June.
All hospital trusts across Lancashire and South Cumbria will be impacted, with significant service disruption likely. Almost half of all hospital doctors in the country are junior doctors and they work in almost every part of a busy hospital.
Dr David Levy, medical director at NHS Lancashire and South Cumbria Integrated Care Board, which organises health services for the region, has urged people to make NHS 111 Online their first port of call for non-emergency health needs.
NHS 111 Online is available by visiting www.111.nhs.uk.
Dr Levy said: “The NHS has tried and tested plans in place to mitigate risks to patient safety and manage any disruption but our hospitals in Lancashire and South Cumbria are likely to be under significant pressure during this period of industrial action.
“We ask people to use services wisely and take simple steps to help ensure care is available to those who need it most. This includes using NHS 111 online as the first port of call for health needs and continuing to only use 999 if it is a life-threatening emergency.”
The NHS will continue to deliver planned care where possible, especially for patients in greatest clinical need, and people are urged to attend any planned appointments unless contacted directly by the NHS to reschedule.
Local NHS services will also keep their websites and social media accounts up-to-date with information about local service disruption – so please keep check before you travel.
Dr Levy said: “Regardless of any strike action taking place, it is really 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.”
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.
- How to get an emergency dental appointment.