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Help us to help you during the strike action

People are being urged to only go to the emergency centre (A&E) if it is really necessary as the hospital is expected to be extremely busy.

Wherever possible, people should use alternatives such as local pharmacies, their own GP practice or call the Single Point of Access on 01472 256 256 if they need advice.

Patients due to attend Diana Princess of Wales Hospital next week are being warned of major disruption due to national strike action.

Junior doctors are set to withdraw all care, including emergency cover, when they go on strike on Tuesday 26 April, from 8am to 5pm and Wednesday 27 April from 8am to 5pm. After 5pm services will resume.

Northern Lincolnshire and Goole NHS Foundation Trust has decided to cancel the majority of routine operations, procedures and outpatient clinics on these days.

Medical director at the Trust, Mr Lawrence Roberts, said: “It is regrettable that we have had to stand down routine activity but we have to prioritise the safety of our patients, and that means those on the wards and those attending as an emergency.

“We have coped during the recent strikes with a small percentage of our outpatient clinic appointments and routine operations affected but as this time emergency cover is being removed this presents us with a different challenge. We have to plan differently to how we’ve prepared for previous strikes.”

“We will be redeploying staff where possible to ensure there are enough clinical staff with the range of skills required to attend to patients on the wards.

“Our A&E and critical care units are understandably areas of concern for us. Again we will be redeploying staff who have relevant skills to help cover this over the two days.

“We apologise to anyone who has had their appointment cancelled. We will be getting in touch to reschedule as soon as possible.”

Patients who require medical attention on the Tuesday and Wednesday are urged to think twice before attending A&E and to use the alternatives where possible. Anyone attending with a minor illness or ailment that does not require an A&E attendance may be advised to seek treatment elsewhere.

People are advised to visit A&E or call 999 if you need an ambulance in a serious or life-threatening emergency, such as:

• Loss of consciousness
• Acute confused state and fits that are not stopping
• Persistent, severe chest pain
• Breathing difficulties
• Severe bleeding that cannot be stopped.
• If you think you are having a stroke.

Alternatives to A&E include:

• Your GP – for problems like ear pain, vomiting, stomach pain, backache
• Your local pharmacy – for diarrhoea, runny nose, heartburn and indigestion, cough, headache
• If you are unwell and unsure where to go ring Single Point of Access on 01472 256256 if you live in North East Lincolnshire or have a North East Lincolnshire GP.

Local GP practices are currently working with the CCG and NHS England and planning what they can do to maximise capacity over the two days of the strike.

“Even during normal days, hospital A&E departments are not there for “anything and everything” and you may get more appropriate and faster treatment elsewhere,” explained Dr Rakesh Pathak, unplanned care lead at North East Lincolnshire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG). “Choosing the right NHS service for your needs is particularly important during busy times and the industrial action next week will put a lot of pressure on an already stretched service.

“If you or a member of your family becomes ill or injured, we would always urge you to only attend A&E if it’s really necessary. If you think you need to see a doctor, you should, whenever possible, first contact your own GP Practice for advice, or dial the Single Point of Access on 01472 256 256 if you are unsure where you need to go for treatment.”

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