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Junior Doctors Industrial Action

The British Medical Association (BMA) has announced its junior doctors in England will be taking industrial action beginning with a full 72-hour walkout in March.

Continuous strike action - day and night - will begin at 7am on Monday 13 March and continue through to 7am on Thursday 16 March, with many of our junior doctors at County Durham and Darlington NHS Foundation Trust taking part.

On these days - and to maintain patient safety - we will prioritise emergency treatment and patients seeking urgent treatment will be seen. Unfortunately, this means we will have to reschedule some routine appointments and procedures and we will be contacting patients directly to let them know.

We appreciate that this will be frustrating, however, it is essential that we reschedule to allow emergency care to continue to be available. All appointments will be re-arranged as a priority.

Frequently asked questions

What is happening?

Trade unions representing NHS staff are in dispute with the Government over the 2022/2023 pay award. A number of the unions have balloted their NHS members to take part in industrial action.

This is the first round of action by the BMA and continuous strike action is expected to take place on Monday 13 March to Thursday 16 March.

The NHS wants to see a resolution as soon as possible, but pay is a matter for the Government and the trade unions.

What if I need urgent or emergency care?

Anyone who needs urgent care should use NHS111 online or call NHS 111 to be assessed and directed to the right care for them.

When someone is seriously ill or injured and their life is at risk, you should seek emergency care in the normal way, by calling 999 or attending A&E.

What if I have an appointment on strike days?

Everyone who has an appointment should attend as planned, unless we have contacted you to reschedule. If we have not contacted you, please attend your appointment as normal.

If your appointment has been postponed and you were due to come into hospital using patient transport ambulance services, please let them know.

Will emergency care be affected on strike days?

Emergency care will continue to be available across all parts of the country. It is really important that in emergency and life-threatening cases - when someone is seriously ill or their life is at risk patients continue to come forward as normal.

Will GP services be affected on strike days?

GP services will be running as normal on strike days. Please continue to attend scheduled GP appointments.

When will I find out if my appointment is rescheduled?

We will contact you if your appointment needs to be rescheduled due to strike action. This is likely to be a letter or phone call, and you should be offered an alternative date for your appointment.

If we have not contacted you, please attend your appointment as planned.

Is there anything I should do now?

No. We will contact you if your appointment needs to be rescheduled due to strike action.

Should I cancel my appointment on the day of strikes?

No, if we have not contacted you, please attend your appointment as planned. If you are not sure if your appointment is going ahead, please contact the clinic / department in your letter.

How long will services be impacted?

This is a continuous 72-hour strike which means industrial action will start on Monday 13 March and last until Thursday 16 March and last over the course of those days and nights

'Care received was fantastic and I was very well looked after and very impressed.'

Patient, Day Surgery, Darlington Memorial Hospital