Londoners are being urged to look after themselves and check in on loved ones ahead of the industrial action by junior doctors this week.
The 72-hour walk out by junior doctors across London will start at 7am on Wednesday 14 June 14 and continue until 7am on Saturday June 17.
“During this week, the NHS will prioritise resources to protect emergency and critical care, maternity care and where possible prioritise patients who have waited the longest for elective care and cancer surgery,” a statement issued this morning by NHS London said.
Junior doctors make up around half of all doctors in the NHS.
NHS London says: “People who need care must still access the care they need in the usual way – only using 999 and A&E in life-threatening emergencies and using NHS 111 online and other services for non-urgent health needs.”
Patients can still get appointments and health advice via their pharmacies and GPs, who are largely unaffected by the strikes.
“The NHS in London has been preparing extensively for the next set of strikes, but with a significant proportion of our workforce not working, as well as the hot weather, we’re expecting our emergency services to be extremely busy,” said Dr Chris Streather, medical director for the NHS in London.
“For this reason, it’s important that Londoners use our services wisely, using NHS 111 online as well as local services like general practice and pharmacies as first points of call for care, but people should always use 999 in a life-threatening emergency.
“And of course we want people to enjoy the hot weather but enjoy it safely, by keeping hydrated, staying protected from the sun and keeping your home nice and cool. No one wants an avoidable trip to A&E.”
Previous strike action by junior doctors saw approximately 5,540 staff off per day and collectively over 104,000 hospital appointments have been rescheduled during previous junior doctor strikes.
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