NHS in Bucks braced for seven days of industrial action by doctors
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The NHS in Bucks is preparing for the impact of further industrial action by junior doctors and new industrial action by consultant doctors.
Industrial action by junior doctors, part of the British Medical Association (BMA) and Hospital Consultants and Specialists Association (HCSA), starts at 7am on Thursday, July 13, and ends at 7am on Tuesday, July 18.
This is followed closely by consultant doctors taking industrial action from 7am on Thursday, July 20, to 7am on Saturday, July 22.
The Buckinghamshire, Oxfordshire and Berkshire West Integrated Care Board (BOB ICB) says it is working hard to prioritise resources to protect emergency treatment, critical care, neonatal care, maternity, and trauma, and ensure it prioritises patients who have waited the longest for elective care and cancer surgery.
During the two days of consultant doctor industrial action, the BMA has advised that consultants will provide ‘Christmas Day’ cover, meaning they will continue to provide all emergency services, but routine services will be impacted.
To make sure safe care continues to be available for those in life-threatening situations, NHS staff will be asked to prioritise emergency and urgent care over some routine appointments and procedures – but these will only be postponed where unavoidable.
Dr Nick Broughton, interim chief executive of the NHS Buckinghamshire, Oxfordshire and Berkshire West Integrated Care Board, said: "We are now entering the eighth month of industrial action across the NHS and staff continue to work hard to provide patients with the best possible care under the circumstances. We appreciate the public’s understanding and co-operation during this challenging period.
“NHS staff working during the industrial action will be working very hard in hospitals, community teams, GP services and pharmacies to keep people safe and respond to their needs.
"Emergencies, critical care, maternity, trauma and neonatal care safe staffing will be our absolute priority, but it will involve the NHS working together across Buckinghamshire, Oxfordshire and Berkshire West to ensure we are there for people at their moment of need. We are grateful to all our colleagues working during this time to keep services running and patients safe.”
Dr Rachael de Caux, chief medical officer for the NHS in Bucks, Oxon and Berkshire West and consultant in emergency medicine, said: “If you have an emergency or life-threatening need, continue to come to Emergency Departments.
"We expect them to be very busy in the days during the strike so if your need is not an emergency, you can expect to wait a very long time or be redirected to a more appropriate service.
"NHS 111 online remains the best place to help you get to the part of the NHS that can best respond to your needs.”
People are asked to remember:
Continue to access GPs as normal
Call 111 to get the right service for your needs
Make sure prescriptions are up to date
Stay safe and look out for vulnerable family and friends
Keep appointments unless you are contacted by the NHS with alternative arrangements
Remember A&E is for emergencies and life-threatening situations.