Anyone who needs urgent health care will receive it – the majority of GP practices will be open as usual but some may be providing a reduced service by treating only urgent cases. Any patients who have a GP appointment scheduled for the 21 June and have not been notified of any change, should still attend.
Any patients whose planned (non urgent) care has been postponed, either in hospital or the community, will already have been notified that their appointment has been rescheduled.
As always – and particularly at times when there may be additional pressure on health services – the region’s NHS is urging people to Choose Well when accessing local services on 21 June:
• Remember, A&E and 999 are for people with life threatening or serious conditions that need immediate attention, such as a heart attack, a stroke, breathing problems, or a serious accident
• For everyday minor illnesses, such as coughs, colds, stomach aches, aches and sprains, use your local high street pharmacy in the first instance or local NHS walk in centre
• If you require non urgent treatment, please use the NHS Direct online symptom checker www.nhsdirect.nhs.uk/CheckSymptoms before calling NHS Direct on 0845 4647
• If you live in County Durham or Darlington please call 111 if you need help fast, but it isn't a 999 emergency
Phil Bain, strategic head of emergency preparedness and resilience at NHS North East said:
“As with any pressure on the NHS, our priority is to ensure the resilience of frontline services and the public can be reassured that all urgent and emergency care will be running as usual tomorrow.
“Any patients who have been affected by the BMA action have already been contacted directly by local NHS services and every effort is being made to reschedule appointments as soon as possible.
“Patients should turn up for appointments as usual unless they have been contacted and told otherwise. As always, I would urge members of the public to remember that A&E and 999 are for serious life threatening emergencies and to choose the right service for the severity of their symptoms.”
Notes to editors:
Please note: A further media update will be provided by NHS North East at approximately 15.30hrs on Thursday 21 June. No detailed information in terms of the impact of the BMA action on local NHS services will be available before this point.
Liz Davies – senior communications officer
Tel: 0191 210 6482
Mobile: 07787 278511