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Industrial action “still having a huge impact” as local NHS prepares for fresh junior doctors’ strike

The NHS in North Lancashire and South Cumbria is bracing itself for more industrial action, with junior doctors set to strike this weekend.

Services across all of the region’s hospitals will be directly impacted, meaning increased waiting times and a number of appointments expected to be rescheduled.

Members of the BMA will stage a full walkout from 7am on Saturday (February 24) through to 11.59pm on Wednesday (February 28), while members of the HCSA union will continue their action until 7am the following day.

The NHS will contact patients directly if operations or appointments need to be rescheduled. However, if you have a hospital appointment on these days, please assume this is going ahead unless you have been told otherwise.

GP practices will continue to be open as normal during the strikes.

Dr David Levy, medical director at NHS Lancashire and South Cumbria Integrated Care Board, which organises health services for the region, said: “The NHS has now been affected by industrial action for more than a year, but the strikes are still having a huge impact on our hospitals and across the wider system.

“This latest strike comes at a time when hospitals are still dealing with severe winter pressures.

“We are working hard to ensure that we can continue to provide emergency and life-preserving services over these five days, but strikes mean there are fewer doctors available at every hospital, so routine care for many patients will be delayed and some non-urgent appointments and procedures will inevitably be postponed.

“We always want people to use services wisely and appropriately. This is even more imperative during strike action,

“Those who need urgent medical care should continue to call 999 or attend A&E as normal, especially in emergency and life-threatening cases when someone is seriously ill or injured, or their life is at risk. Please use NHS 111 online for all non-emergency healthcare needs.”

More information about when to call 999 and when to go to A&E is available via the national NHS website.

This will be the 10th round of junior doctor strikes since March 2023, and follows a six-day strike last month that was the longest in NHS history.

Nearly half of NHS doctors are junior doctors – from those just qualified from university through to doctors with eight years or more of experience.

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