Impact of junior doctor strikes in Kent and Medway

6 April 2023

Unfortunately, people can expect a significant impact to health services in Kent and Medway during industrial action planned by junior doctors.

All areas of the NHS are expected to be affected from 7am on Tuesday, 11 April to 7am on Saturday, 15 April. Please use services wisely, we are working with partners to make sure patients receive care in a safe environment.

This is four days of strikes involving up to half of doctors in the NHS coming immediately after a four-day bank holiday weekend. The NHS is facing record demand and the long bank holiday weekend is usually one of the busiest times for the NHS with staff working incredibly hard to maintain services.

We are working hard to prioritise resources to protect emergency treatment, critical care, neonatal care, maternity, and trauma, and ensure we prioritise patients who have waited the longest for elective care and cancer surgery. 

We will only reschedule appointments and procedures where necessary and will rebook immediately, where possible. Unfortunately, these strikes will have a significant impact upon planned and routine care. 

People should use 111 online as the first port of call for health needs and only use 999 if it is a life-threatening emergency. Mental health crisis services can be accessed through normal routes.

Our emergency departments continue to face high demand and we expect resources to be stretched further during this industrial action. Please only go to our emergency departments if you are facing life threatening injury or illness. 
Care is available across Kent and Medway through other NHS services, including urgent treatment centres and pharmacies. Please use these for less urgent health needs.

Please go to any planned appointment as normal unless you hear otherwise. If industrial action means your appointment has to be cancelled, your hospital, GP or other provider will directly contact you to make alternative arrangements.  

NHS Kent and Medway’s Chief Medical Officer Kate Langford said: “We are working closely with our partners to make sure patients can access the care they need, in a safe environment, during industrial action by junior doctors.
“We anticipate and are planning for the action to have significant impact on services provided across all areas of the NHS, including our hospitals, accident and emergency departments, primary care (GP practices) and mental health services. 

“Regardless of any strike action taking place, it is important 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.’’ 

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