Public urged to use NHS 111 Online ahead of three-day doctor strike
Monday, 12 June 2023
Health leaders are urging members of the public to use NHS 111 Online for all non-emergency healthcare needs during a 72-hour junior doctor strike amid soaring temperatures and unseasonably high demand for urgent and emergency care services.
The British Medical Association (BMA) has announced a three-day walkout of junior doctors from Wednesday, June 14th to Saturday, June 17th after A&Es across the country experienced the busiest May on record.
All NHS Trusts across Cheshire and Merseyside are set to be impacted - with significant service disruption highly likely.
NHS Cheshire and Merseyside Medical Director Prof Rowan Pritchard-Jones recommends using NHS 111 Online for non-emergency healthcare needs.
The online service works the same as over the phone and is already popular with people who want quick advice about the best options for getting the care they need. These can include a call back from a trained clinician or nurse, an appointment in A&E or important advice.
Prof Pritchard-Jones said:
“The NHS has tried and tested plans in place to mitigate risks to patient safety and manage any disruption, including industrial action, but inevitably a walkout on this scale is likely to lead to significant service disruption.
“Urgent and emergency care services will be open and in the event of a life or limb-threatening emergency you should always call 999.
“If, however, it’s not an emergency, please use NHS 111 Online to ensure you are signposted to the right service first time.”
Almost half of all hospital doctors in the country are junior doctors. You will see junior doctors working in almost every part of a busy hospital, including A&E where they might diagnose you or put you under anaesthetic, write prescriptions, support the process of admission and discharge, maintain the flow of patients through the hospital and ensure beds are available for those who need them the most.
The NHS will continue to deliver planned care where possible, especially for patients in greatest clinical need, and we would urge the public to attend any planned appointments unless contacted directly by the NHS to reschedule.
Local NHS services will be using their websites and social media channels to provide up to date information to the public about local service disruption – so please check before you travel.
NHS 111 Online can tell you:
- Where to get help for your symptoms
- How to find general health information and advice
- Where to get an emergency supply of your prescribed medicine
- How to get a repeat prescription
- How to get an emergency dental appointment