Junior doctor strikes, 13-16 March: information for patients
The British Medical Association (BMA) and the Hospital Consultants and Specialists Association (HCSA), the trade unions for doctors in the UK, have announced that their members will be participating in strike action for 72 hours from 7am on Monday 13 March until 7am on Thursday 16 March.
The strike action will impact services at Epsom and St Helier hospitals, as well as St George's Hospital, Tooting, and Queen Mary's, Roehampton.
This means that some planned care – appointments, procedures and operations, for example – may be postponed to help us safely manage the impact of the strike and provide emergency care.
We will contact patients directly if we do need to reschedule care, so please continue to attend appointments as planned unless you hear otherwise.
If you’re concerned and would like to speak to someone, please contact your clinical team using the contact information on your appointment letter or on our website. If you’re still concerned, you can speak to our Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS).
Regardless of any strike action taking place, it is really important that patients who need urgent medical care continue to come forward as normal, especially in emergency and life-threatening cases – when someone is seriously ill or injured, or their life is at risk.
We are always here for those who need care.
Please read and follow the below for further information and advice.
More information on the strikes is available from the NHS website.
How to access urgent or emergency care
Please use services wisely during industrial action and take simple steps to help ensure care is available to patients who need it most.
This includes using NHS 111 online as the first port of call for health needs and continuing to only use 999 if it is a life-threatening emergency or mental health emergency (when someone is seriously ill or injured and their life is at risk).
For more information on when to call 999 and when to go to A&E, you can visit the NHS website.
If you need care, but it isn’t an emergency, there are a number of options available…
If you have an urgent healthcare need but it isn’t an emergency, contact NHS 111 online as your first port of call, as this service can quickly advise you where to go and what to do next.
Your local pharmacy can also provide advice on minor health concerns from skin rashes to earaches and flu. Many pharmacies stay open late and no appointment is needed.
Please continue to attend your GP appointments, unless you are contacted and told otherwise. You can contact your GP surgery for appointments about illnesses or injuries that won’t go away.