'Help us' call as new hospital strike looms

Hospital patients in Sunderland are being urged to help ease the workload as junior doctors prepare for a three day strike.
Dr Shaz Wahid.Dr Shaz Wahid.
Dr Shaz Wahid.

South Tyneside and Sunderland NHS Foundation Trust – which runs Sudeland Royal Hospital – are facing a 72-hour strike by British Medical Association members, from 7am on Wednesday June 14 to 7am on Saturday June 17.

The Trust says the action will cause disruption to frontline health services at the hospital and it is contacting patients directly if their appointment is affected by the strike.

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Patients who have planned appointments at hospitals in Sunderland and South Tyneside District Hospital should attend as normal unless they have received a text message or phone call from the Trust.

Sunderland Royal Hospital.Sunderland Royal Hospital.
Sunderland Royal Hospital.

Hospital bosses say emergency and urgent care services will remain open during the strike but are appealing for people to help ease the current extreme

pressures on emergency departments in Sunderland and South Tyneside.

Dr Shaz Wahid, the Trust’s medical director, said: “We know that any disruption to patient care is frustrating and we have been working hard to minimise the impact of this on patients.”

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“We need local people in Sunderland and South Tyneside to be aware of the huge pressures that the NHS will be under, even more so than normal.

"Our services will be very busy, so please support us and think of using your local pharmacy and NHS 111 if you need urgent help or advice.

"We also ask everyone to be kind to our staff who continue to work under significant pressure.”

He added: "Our essential services will be running as usual, but we do need to rearrange some non-urgent, routine appointments.

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"Patients with planned appointments should attend as normal unless they are contacted directly by the Trust.

Hospital chiefs say anyone who needs urgent care should use NHS111 online (www.111.nhs.uk) to be assessed and directed to the right care for them.

People without internet access should dial 111 for free from any phone.

If someone is seriously ill or injured and their life is at risk, they should seek emergency care in the normal way - calling 999.