Health chief's plea to patients as junior doctors' strike looms

South Tyneside District Hospital in South Shields

South Tyneside District Hospital in South Shields

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Hospital bosses are pleading with South Tyneside patients as a junior doctor strike looms.

On Tuesday and Wednesday, between 8am and 5pm, junior doctors across the country will walk out in protest over new contracts.

Bosses at South Tyneside District Hospital in Harton Lane, South Shields have apologised for the cancellation of some procedures and appointments and they’re also urging people to stay away from A&E unless it’s an emergency.

Ian Frame, South Tyneside NHS Foundation Trust’s executive director for personnel and development, said: “We want to reassure patients that, in preparation for the full withdrawal of labour by junior doctor, everything has been done to minimise disruption to services at South Tyneside District Hospital whilst still ensuring patient safety.

“Unfortunately, a number of procedures and outpatient appointments have had to cancelled and the patients concerned will be informed. We apologise to them and their families and carers and can assure them that we are doing all we can to rearrange the cancellations as quickly as possible.”

He added: “Consultants and senior doctors will be on duty to provide care for those requiring emergency medical treatment. However, we will, undoubtedly, be very busy and those attending A&E may have to wait longer than usual so we would really appreciate the understanding and support of the local population during this challenging period. We would appeal to them to use NHS services wisely and stay away from A&E unless they have a serious and life-threatening injury or condition.”