Services at Wrightington, Wigan and Leigh Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (WWL) are braced for a week of industrial action next week, with consultants and junior doctors set to strike together for the first time.
The British Medical Association (BMA) is taking strike action involving WWL consultants from 7am Tuesday 19 September to 7am Thursday 21 September while WWL junior doctors will strike from 7am Wednesday 20 September to 7am Saturday 23 September
For the first time consultants and junior doctors will be taking strike action together on Wednesday 20 September.
WWL has yet again put robust plans in place to minimise any potential disruption during the strike, particularly during this unprecedented move by both consultants and junior doctors to strike on the same day.
During the strike ‘Christmas Day cover’ will be provided, which includes protecting emergency treatment, intensive care, new-born care, maternity, trauma – and some limited planned care.
If you have an appointment at one of our hospitals, please attend unless you hear from the Trust. Please don’t call to check if your appointment is going ahead as the appropriate department will be in touch with you directly if your appointment needs to be rearranged.
Speaking ahead of the upcoming industrial action, WWL Medical Director, Professor Sanjay Arya, said: “In the days following previous strike action we have seen an increase in demand on our Emergency Department (A&E), with very high attendance figures putting our services under severe pressure. Whilst our staff continue to work hard within our hospitals and with partners from across health and social care within the Wigan Borough to meet this demand, I must ask everyone to use our services appropriately.
“Patients should not put off seeking urgent or emergency care for life, limb and sight-threatening conditions, but we are once again asking people to use other NHS services available to ensure those with the most urgent and serious needs can be seen.
“It’s really important that we are providing the right care for patients in the right place, and many of our patients are ready to return to their normal place of residence. Friends and loved ones of patients can help by supporting them through the discharge process, which will not only help to keep patients comfortable, but it will also free up hospital beds for our patients who desperately need acute care at WWL.
“We are expecting our services to face further considerable impacts during this next round of industrial action and in the days and weeks that follow, but we would like to reassure our patients and our public that we are doing everything we can to make sure patient safety, as always, remains our top priority. With your support in using NHS services appropriately, we will be able to provide care and services for those who need it most.”
Dr Tim Dalton, Co-Chair of Healthier Wigan added, “As we have seen throughout all the industrial action during the past nine months, our NHS services in Wigan Borough and across the region have been extremely busy. We expect that to continue during the consultant and junior doctor strikes this week.
“If you need medical help or advice during the strikes, please remember that pharmacies can offer lots of advice and information and that NHS111 online and on the phone can support you with getting the help you need. Please only use A&E if you really need it and have a serious or life-threatening illness or injury.”
Where else to get help from? Get to know where to go:
WWL is urging members of the public to use NHS 111 Online for all non-emergency healthcare needs, in the first instance, unless the issue concerns a child under five-years-old, when they should call 111. Deaf people or people with hearing loss can dial 18001 111 on a textphone or use the Relay UK app (which can be downloaded from Apple’s App Store or Google Play Store).
NHS 111 Online can help if:
• You need help but don’t know who to call
• How to find general health information and advice
• You are ill and need to be told what to do next
• How to get an emergency supply of your prescribed medicine
Lots of illnesses can also be managed safely at home, or with a trip to a local pharmacist. There are pharmacies open late into the night and very early in the morning. Find your nearest one here: Find a pharmacy - NHS (www.nhs.uk).
Urgent dental care:
The Greater Manchester Urgent Dental Care Service is available from 8am to 10pm every day including weekends for severe dental pain and infection. People can call 0333 332 3800 to be assessed by a healthcare professional, who can provide self-care advice or book a face-to-face appointment, if needed.
Urgent eye care:
f you have a sudden and urgent problem with your eyes, you can contact a local practice to get an appointment: NHS Greater Manchester Community Urgent Eye Care Service (CUES) - Primary Eyecare Services.
For free urgent mental health support, people can contact the 24/7 helpline on 0800 953 0285 – it is available to anyone of any age. If there’s an immediate risk of danger to life, you should ring 999.
More information about when to call 999 and when to go to A&E is available via the national NHS website.