Hospital chief's services warning as new strike looms
South Tyneside and Sunderland NHS Foundation Trust issued the warning ahead of Monday’s planned three-day strike by consultants and junior doctors.
The latest action by the British Medical Association (BMA) will be a 72-hours walkout starting at 7am on Monday, October 2.
British Dental Association (BDA) members are also due to strike during the same period.
The Trust has emergency departments at South Tyneside District Hospital, Sunderland Royal Hospital and Sunderland Eye Infirmary but is warning patients that they will face disruption and long waits during the strike and in the days following the action.
Dr Shaz Wahid, the Trust’s executive medical director, said: “Once more, we are asking people to play their part in helping us deal with pressure on our services.
“We are here and have planned carefully to make sure we can safely care for our patients but we do need the help of the public.
"Please only use 999 and and use accident and emergency services in a genuine medical emergency and think about where is the right place for you to seek help.”
He added: “There will be some disruption to other services. We have had to rearrange some appointments and will be contacting all patients who are affected by the strike action.
"If you don’t hear from us, please still attend your appointment as usual.”
The Trust says GP surgeries will still be open during the days of action and pharmacists are also a good sources of advice and treatment.
There will be a number of services available during the strikes if people have urgent health needs.
*111 Online which is available 24-hours a day.
*Self-care advice is available online from the NHS at www.nhs.uk.
*Parents, carers, and young people can also use the Healthier Together app or website which provides NHS healthcare advice on a range of child-related illnesses and information on local services.
*Mental health support through local crisis teams at www.nhs.uk/service-search/mental-health/find-an-urgent-mental-health-
Patients who have an urgent eye problem and need to attend the emergency department at Sunderland Eye Infirmary should ring 0191 569 9952 before going to the hospital.