You are here:>>People in the Black Country are being urged to think carefully about which health service they should use during the upcoming industrial action.


People in the Black Country are being urged to think carefully about which health service they should use during the upcoming industrial action.

2024-02-26T16:58:02+00:00Friday 23 February 2024|
  • Outside of Walsall Manor Hospital

Junior doctors are planning to strike for five consecutive days, starting from 7am on Saturday 24 February until midnight on Wednesday 28 February.

All health and care partners in the Black Country are working together to prepare for the industrial action, which will impact NHS local services, and are asking the public for their support.

Emergency care will be prioritised, and people are being reminded that 999 and emergency departments are still the right services if it is a life-saving emergency. However, for anything that isn’t life-threatening, people are being urged to use 111 online as the first port of call for health needs. People can also call 111 for help, advice, and signposting to the most appropriate service.

Pharmacies, GP appointments, walk-in centres, minor injury units and urgent treatment centres will continue to be available during the industrial action and can help people with a range of injuries and illnesses.

People with hospital appointments should continue to come forward for the care they need and do not need to call to check if appointments are going ahead. If appointments do need to be rearranged due to strike action, patients will be contacted directly.

Dr Ananta Dave, Chief Medical Officer for the NHS Black Country Integrated Care Board, said: “Ahead of the upcoming industrial action, I’d like remind people that the NHS is still here for you if you need it. However, during this busy time where services are already under strain from the pressures of winter, we’re asking people to consider whether A&E is the most appropriate place for their needs, and if it’s not, to seek alternatives.

“NHS 111 online or by telephone is available 24/7 for urgent medical advice but it’s worth remembering that most common ailments at this time of year can be effectively managed at home with advice from a local pharmacy.

“By ensuring you choose the most appropriate service, you will not only you save time waiting, but you will be treated by the most appropriate healthcare professional for your needs. This will also help NHS services to manage demand and ensure hospitals can focus on treating people with serious and life-threatening conditions.

“We are extremely grateful for the way the public have supported the NHS throughout these periods of industrial action and for continuing to use NHS services appropriately during these times of pressure.”

GP practices will continue to be open as normal during the industrial action. Please continue to attend your GP and dental appointments unless you are contacted and told otherwise.

Dr Mark Anderson, Chief Medical Officer at Sandwell and West Birmingham NHS Trust, said: “The strike action planned for this week will bring challenges to the local NHS, particularly hospital services.

“Urgent and emergency services will be open across the Black Country, but it is vital that people use these services appropriately so that our emergency teams can focus on treating those who are seriously unwell.

“Hospitals will also need to reschedule some hospital treatments and appointments, but unless patients hear otherwise, they should attend as planned. There’s no need to check, as patients will be contacted directly if their care needs to be reorganised.

“We’d like to thank all NHS colleagues who are working tirelessly to keep services running over the industrial action.”

NHS 111 can help if you have an urgent medical problem and you’re not sure what to do. You can contact the service online or by calling 111, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Local pharmacy services and opening times in the Black Country can be found on the NHS website.

People should only call 999 if it is a medical emergency.

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