Patients are being reminded that the NHS will still be available for urgent and emergency care next week – but are being asked to use services wisely.
Junior doctors are expected to go on strike from Monday 13 March to Wednesday 15 March led by the British Medical Association. Further action is also planned on Tuesday by staff from the Hospital Consultants Specialists Association.
It is expected that there will be disruption to NHS services during the three days with an impact on hospitals, mental health services and GP practices.
All health and care partners are working together to prepare for the industrial action – and are asking the public for their support.
Emergency care will be prioritised and people are being reminded that 999 and emergency departments are still the right services if it is a life-saving emergency.
However, for anything that isn’t a life-threatening illness or injury, people are being urged to use 111 online as the first port of call for health needs. People can also call 111 for help, advice and signposting to the most appropriate service.
Pharmacies, walk in centres, minor injury units and urgent treatment centres will continue to be available. See the full list of open services.
Some planned appointments and clinics are expected to be affected but people are being urged to continue to attend your appointments unless you are contacted directly by the NHS.
Patients also do not need to contact their NHS service or team in advance, the team will contact patients directly if an appointment needs to be rescheduled.
NHS Sussex Chief Medical Officer, Dr Dinesh Sinha, said:
“Patient safety is our absolute priority, and health and care partners are working together to ensure essential urgent and emergency care services will be available so that patients can continue to access vital medical attention when they need it most.
“We are asking patients to help NHS staff during the three days and use services wisely. Only use emergency departments and 999 for life-threatening illnesses or injuries to ensure care is available to patients who need it most. If it is not an emergency, use NHS 111 online as the first port of call for help, advice and support.
“We do expect there to be an impact on some appointments and clinics but ask patients to continue to attend planned appointments unless you hear directly from the NHS to make new arrangements.
“We thank the public for their support and we are also incredibly grateful to all of the health and care staff across Sussex for their hard work and dedication.”