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Latest Industrial Action - Junior Doctors

Trust medical director reassures patients about delivery of services during industrial action

Professor Chris Gray, Medical Director at County Durham and Darlington NHS Foundation Trust is reassuring patients that during the planned industrial action by junior doctors all emergency and urgent hospital procedures and appointments will be running as normal.

Junior doctors have voted to take industrial action as a result of national proposals for changes to their terms and conditions.

The industrial action will take place on the following dates:

        12 January 2016

Emergency care only between 8am on Tuesday, 12 January and 8am on Wednesday, 13 January (24 hours)

      Two consecutive days: 26 January 2016 & 27 January 2016

Emergency care only between 8am on Tuesday, 26 January and 8am on Thursday, 28 January (48 hours)

      10 February 2016

Full withdrawal of labour between 8am and 5pm on Wednesday, 10 February

Action will begin with an emergency care-only model, which will see junior doctors provide the same level of service in their given specialty/ward/team as on weekend cover:

Professor Gray said: "We have a good relationship with our junior doctor colleagues and whilst recognising their right to strike following the national ballots, we have worked to ensure that we are able to maintain safe and effective care on these days and minimise disruption to our patients as much as possible.

"As an organisation we have robust plans in place for managing disruptions to services including industrial action. As part of our plans, we have been able to put in place very good additional support to cover junior doctor shifts at a senior level from our consultant body as well as staff and associate specialists nurses, pharmacists and allied health professionals to ensure continuity of care.

"On these days we will still be delivering full emergency care services, cancer pathways will be maintained and outpatient clinics will go-ahead, run by consultants - unless there are conflicting emergency on call duties - that necessitate some changes.

"Unfortunately, there will be some changes to non-emergency work such as routine elective surgery. Where a patient is affected by these changes, you will be contacted directly with more information and guidance on how to reschedule your appointment.

"While we will continue to provide emergency care and other urgent services, we would remind people that our emergency departments are for serious, life-threatening illnesses and injuries.

"There are other healthcare options available instead including your local GP or pharmacist and urgent care centres.

"If you are unsure about what is the right service for you then please ring 111 or visit NHS Choices - www.nhs.uk."

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Patient, Coronary Heart Disease / Heart Failure Service, Shotley Bridge Community Hospital