Junior doctor strikes expected to impact NHS services

19 June 2024

Industrial action by junior doctors this month is likely to have an impact on all NHS services.

NHS Kent and Medway is asking everyone to think carefully about which services they use, to make sure those most in need can access the right care.

Junior doctors will be striking from from 7am on Thursday, 27 June to 7am on Tuesday, 2 July.

Please 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

Care is available through other NHS services, including urgent treatment centres and pharmacies. It is vital people are aware of the pressure on health services during the industrial action and make sure they choose the correct services.   
 
The NHS in Kent and Medway is working hard to prioritise resources to protect emergency treatment, critical care, neonatal care, maternity, and trauma, and to make sure we prioritise patients who have waited the longest for elective care and cancer surgery.  

The NHS will only reschedule appointments and procedures where necessary, and will immediately re-book, where possible. Patients impacted by the strike action will be directly contacted. If you are not contacted, your appointment will take place as planned.

NHS Kent and Medway’s Chief Medical Officer Kate Langford said: “We are working hard with our partners to make sure our critical and emergency services are maintained during industrial action and are grateful to colleagues who step in and support the NHS during this time.

“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.

“Throughout the strikes, the 111/999 phone lines are likely to be very busy. We are urging everyone to make sure they use the appropriate services and keep emergency care for those that really need it. You can find out which services are most appropriate for your needs by visiting www.stopthinkchoose.co.uk or seeking help from NHS 111 online.”  

For a list of local services, including a map of pharmacies, visit www.stopthinkchoose.co.uk

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