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Hospital bosses at East Cheshire NHS Trust urge emergency-only visits to A&E during Junior Doctor strikes

31 March 2023

Hospital bosses at East Cheshire NHS Trust are urging their local residents to only visit A&E in an emergency whilst the Junior Doctor strikes take place in early April.

The Industrial Action will begin at 06:59 on Tuesday 11 April 2023 and finish at 06:59 hours on Saturday 15 April 2023 and will impact all East Cheshire NHS Trust sites including Macclesfield, Knutsford and Congleton hospitals.

This means, for striking staff, that all work including nights, on-call shifts, and non-resident work will stop for 96-hours. The British Medical Association has said the doctors had ‘no option’ but to strike.

Dr John Hunter, Medical Director for East Cheshire NHS Trust said: “Withdrawal of this care for 96-hours is likely to cause significant disruption to service delivery and elective recovery.

“We are working closely with partners to ensure appropriate plans are enacted to deal with this disruption.

“We are also working closely with union representatives to maintain the safety and welfare of our patients during planned staff walkouts, and to ensure any impact on our services are minimised.

“Junior doctors are an important part of the team and work in almost every part of a busy hospital, including in A&E whilst maintaining the flow of patients through the hospital and ensuring beds are available for those who need them the most.

“During the upcoming industrial action, we would like to urge local residents to only call 999 or attend our Emergency Department in a life-threatening emergency. Typical emergencies include cardiac arrest, loss of consciousness, fits that are not stopping, breathing difficulties, severe bleeding, allergic reactions and serious head injuries.

“We also urge you to not leave it too late to order repeat prescriptions ahead of the Easter bank holiday weekend. The quickest way to make sure you get your repeat prescription in time for the Easter weekend is to download the NHS app, register and then order your repeat medication.”

For non-urgent concerns, please seek help from NHS 111 online, or contact your GP and pharmacist.

The NHS will do everything it can to go ahead with planned procedures during industrial action - especially for patients in greatest clinical need.

The NHS will also contact you if your appointment needs to be rescheduled. If you have not been contacted, please attend your appointment as planned.


Notes for editors