‘Severe disruption’ warning ahead of junior doctors’ strikes | News and events

‘Severe disruption’ warning ahead of junior doctors’ strikes

A fresh wave of junior doctors’ strikes will hit NHS services this weekend – less than a week after a trio of emergency departments saw one of their busiest days this winter.

St George’s, Epsom and St Helier University Hospitals and Health Group is warning of severe disruption when the walkouts start on Saturday.

The strikes come after the hospital Group had one of its busiest days of the winter, with more than 1,000 people coming to its three emergency departments on Monday.

While demand is often a bit higher on Mondays, a typical day would see about 800 come through the doors. It’s not the first time it’s happened this year, either – with four of the past five Mondays surpassing 1,000 attendances.

Dr Richard Jennings, Group Chief Medical Officer for St George’s, Epsom and St Helier University Hospitals and Health Group, said: “These strikes are going to have a significant impact on our hospitals, and with each round of action it becomes even more challenging. Unfortunately we’ve had to reschedule some appointments and procedures, and if you come to one of our emergency departments when it’s less urgent then you will be waiting longer to be seen.

“That said, it’s really important that you continue to come forward for care when it is an emergency, and you should still attend any appointment that you have unless you have been told it has been rescheduled.”

The strikes take place from Saturday 24 February until Wednesday 28 February.

When people need urgent medical help, NHS 111 online should be the first port of call. This is a 24/7 service that can direct people where to go for care. Pharmacies, meanwhile, provide advice on minor illnesses such as colds, coughs, and earache.

It’s important that people continue to call 999 or go to an emergency department when it is life-threatening.

This winter, people can protect themselves against illnesses like flu and Covid by getting vaccinated, while washing hands regularly help stop the spread of illnesses.

And while measles cases continue to rise across the country, parents are being urged to book their children – including teenagers and young adults – in for any missed MMR vaccine.

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