Suffolk prepares for industrial action by junior doctors tomorrow

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Hospitals and GP surgeries across east and west Suffolk are preparing for the impact of industrial action by junior doctors tomorrow (Tuesday 12 January).

People are being asked to try to use pharmacies or call NHS 111 instead of visiting hospitals. Family doctors and nurses are expecting to be busy on the day, so please consider if your condition is urgent.

Patients in need of urgent and emergency care will still be able to access the care they need. The Emergency Departments (A&E) at Ipswich and West Suffolk hospitals will be open.

Patients with less urgent need who arrive at the Emergency Department may experience delays. Priority will be given to those with the most pressing health needs

Some hospital appointments and procedures will be cancelled. Those patients affected will be contacted direct by the hospital as soon as possible. If patients are not contacted they should attend as originally planned

Local people can help their NHS and make sure that those with urgent care needs are treated quickly.

* Make sure you have a well-stocked medicine cabinet with basic supplies which will enable you to treat minor injury and illness at home

* If you are feeling unwell, don’t wait until Tuesday 12 January before taking action – speak to your pharmacist or call NHS 111

* GPs will also be busy on Tuesday 12 January, so please consider if you can wait and book an appointment on another day

* Local pharmacies are a great source of help and advice and can offer over-the-counter medicine to treat your condition

* People should call 999 only when the situation is a life-threatening emergency

* If the situation is not life-threatening call NHS 111 – the service is open 24 hours a day and you will speak to a Suffolk-based advisor who will advise on the best course of action

* This national action has come about from proposed changes by the Government to junior doctor contracts.

The BMA has announced industrial action between 8 am on Tuesday 12 January and 8 am on Wednesday 13 January, when emergency cover only will be provided.

Further industrial action has also been announced between 8 am on Tuesday 26 January and 8 am on Wednesday 27 January, when emergency cover only will be provided. Full withdrawal of labour has also been announced between 8 am and 5pm on Wednesday 10 February.