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Help us help you during Junior doctors’ and consultants’ strikes in September

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NHS leaders are reminding the public to only call 999 for an ambulance or attend A&E for life-threatening conditions or injuries only, as the region's health services plan for further strike action this week.

The British Medical Association (BMA) has announced that junior doctors and consultants in England will jointly undertake strike action in September.

Consultants will begin their strike from 7am Tuesday 19 September until 7am Thursday 21 September 2023.

Junior doctors will strike from 7am Wednesday 20 September until 7am Saturday 23 September 2023.

The strike will affect NHS services across the North East and North Cumbria and patients should expect disruption and potential long waits during the strike, and over the following immediate days when patient attendance often peaks.

Please help us to help you and only attend A&E in serious emergencies and consider alternative services such as your GP practice, 111 online or your local pharmacy.

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Dr Alex Kent, medical director, North East and North Cumbria Integrated Care Board said: "The public can expect long delays and more disruption to NHS services during this latest period of industrial action.

"Planning for four days of strike action with a joint day of action by consultants and junior doctors has made it challenging for teams, whilst we also understand the impact this has on patients, families and staff."

People with hospital appointments should attend unless they have heard otherwise, although it may be necessary for some appointments and treatments to be postponed as emergency care and life-threatening cases are prioritised.

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Dr Kent added: "We are prioritising emergency and urgent care services, and we really need the public's help to only call 999 and attend emergency departments if it is a genuine life-threatening injury or illness. "Some hospital treatments and appointments will need to be rescheduled. However patients will be contacted directly to inform them of any changes and should assume their scheduled appointment or treatment will go ahead unless they have heard otherwise, there is no need to contact the NHS."

GP practices and pharmacies will be open as usual during the strike days.

For local pharmacy services search Find a pharmacy - NHS (

The public are reminded for everyday illnesses and injury to use the on-line symptom checker available at, which will re-direct to a health professional if people need to be seen by someone. Also self-care advice is available online from the NHS at

Parents, carers and young people can also use the  Healthier Together app or  website which provides NHS healthcare advice and top tips on a range of child related illnesses along with information on local services.

Anyone needing urgent mental health support should seek it via their local Crisis Team. People can put their postcode in  here to find their local Crisis line.

'I have to compliment everyone on their pleasant persona and their expertise and knowledge. By the end of the 5 days, I did not feel as though I had been in a hospital ward and was very relaxed.'

Patient, Ward 16 Orthopaedics, University Hospital of North Durham