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.
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
"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.
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
For local pharmacy services search Find
a pharmacy - NHS (www.nhs.uk)
The public are reminded for everyday illnesses and injury to use
the on-line symptom checker available at
www.111.nhs.uk, 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
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.
'The treatment I have received from all the staff has been
excellent and could you extend my thanks to them all. A very
thankful and relieved patient'.
Patient, Dermatology Outpatients Department, University Hospital
of North Durham