The British Medical Association (BMA) has planned to take industrial action on Thursday 21 June. This means that some GPs and hospital doctors will not be undertaking routine appointments on that day. But there is no need for patients to worry.
The BMA has said that doctors will attend their usual workplace on 21 June to carry out all urgent and emergency care. However, they have also said that as part of the day of industrial action it will postpone non-urgent care. For example, the BMA has said it will ask its members to postpone any consultations or procedures than can be safely delayed.
The BMA has said it will be working with hospitals, GPs and other NHS organisations to make sure decisions about any disruption will be taken well in advance of 21 June so that plans can be made.
The local NHS has stressed that patients who need to see a doctor urgently will receive the care they need. If you are ill and need an urgent GP appointment on Thursday 21 June, you should still contact your GP practice. Surgeries taking part in the day of action will remain open and fully staffed for patients who need urgent attention. However, routine appointments will not be available. Non urgent treatments or appointments are likely to be postponed to another day but will not be cancelled altogether. If treatment or appointment cannot be postponed safely, it will not be postponed at all.
A spokesperson for NHS Tameside and Glossop, said: “We must stress that GPs will continue to provide urgent and emergency care over the 24-hour period. It is only those patients needing routine appointments who will be affected. Although this will be somewhat disruptive to the NHS, rest assured, doctors will be there when patients need us most. The day of action will not jeopardise patients’ safety which remains our absolute priority.”
Tameside Hospital NHS Foundation Trust will be taking a proactive approach in working with the BMA to ensure information on any disruption to services is provided as early as possible to patients.
A spokesperson said: “We will also be working closely with other local NHS organisations to minimise disruption as much as possible. We plan to run services as normally as possible. Unfortunately some outpatient appointments and some operations will be postponed.
“However, patients should attend the hospital on 21 June unless they have been told specifically that their appointment or operation has been postponed.
“Cancer patients will not be affected and emergency healthcare will carry on as usual.”
The hospital has advised patients who need repeat prescriptions to make sure they have enough medication to cover them for the day or organise their repeat prescription in advance. If you run out of medication on 21 June, please do not visit the A&E Department at Tameside General Hospital, but contact your local pharmacy.
Please choose your health services wisely
If you need urgent attention, phone your GP practice first. The day of action means some GPs will not be providing routine appointments on that day. But if you need an urgent doctor’s appointment on Thursday 21 June, you should still contact your GP practice in the first instance.
If your condition is not urgent, there are other ways to get the treatment you need:
If you need repeat prescriptions, make sure you have enough medication to cover you for 21 June or organise your repeat prescription in advance.
You can seek expert advice and remedies for many minor ailments from your local pharmacy. Text “Pharmacy” to 64746 to receive three free texts to find your nearest pharmacy.
Stocking up on medicine cabinet essentials like plasters, antiseptic cream, paracetamol and indigestion remedies will ensure you’re prepared to treat minor illnesses and injuries.
Telephone 0845 4647 for health advice and details of local services, day or night, 365 days of the year. Calls cost a maximum of 5 pence per minute from a BT landline. The cost of calls from mobiles and other networks may vary.
Is for critical or life-threatening situations only
Members of the BMA voted in May in favour of taking industrial action, on Thursday 21 June, over the Government’s pension reforms. This means that those BMA members who have decided to take industrial action will attend their usual place of work but will provide urgent and emergency care only for the 24-hour period