Upcoming junior doctor strikes are set to affect NHS services in Worcestershire.

Strike action is planned for later this week, from Saturday 24 to Wednesday, February 28, which has the potential to challenge all NHS services in both Herefordshire and Worcestershire.

NHS Herefordshire and Worcestershire's chief medical officer, Dr Will Taylor, said: "We are working closely with our partners to make sure patients can access the care they need, in a safe environment, during industrial action."



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As the strikes are expected to last for five days and intensify pressures on services, healthcare leaders suggest residents to be mindful of the services they use during the period.

Acting joint chief medical officer, Dr Julian Berlet, from Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust, said: "Our Emergency Department team will be working exceptionally hard prioritising patients with life or limb threatening injury and illness.

"Patients whose condition is less serious may be asked to seek treatment elsewhere or face an extremely long wait."

Healthcare providers are urging patients with lesser emergencies to consider alternatives such as calling 111, visiting 111 online, or seeking advice from pharmacists.

Dr Berlet added: "By only using 999 and A&E for genuine life-threatening emergencies and using NHS 111 online or by phone for other care needs."

Dr James Bartlett, clinical director, acute and emergency medicine, Wye Valley NHS Trust, said: "We’re doing all we can to ensure we provide safe services during the industrial action this week.

"We’re expecting it to be very busy and we can only do so much.

"We really are appealing for people to help us by choosing wisely and only visit our Emergency Department if they are seriously sick."

Patients who already have an appointment are urged to attend unless contacted with alternate arrangements.

During the strike, emergency treatment, critical care, neonatal care, and trauma will be prioritised, along with patients who have waited the longest for elective care and cancer surgery.

To protect these essential services, the NHS has said that appointments will only be postponed if absolutely necessary, to be rescheduled as soon as possible.

NHS 111 will remain available 24/7 for urgent, but not life-threatening needs.