A hand with a stylus writing on a tablet. The person is wearing a white doctor's coat and has a blue disposable glove on their left hand, which is holding the tablet.

Consultant doctors have announced 48 hours of continuous strike action from 07:00 on Thursday 24 August until 07:00 on Saturday 26 August 2003.

This action is being taken immediately prior to the August bank holiday (Monday 28 August), so all residents are encouraged to be prepared in advance.

While industrial action is taking place it is anticipated that both routine and emergency care are likely to be significantly affected.

In order to prioritise life-saving emergency treatment for people who need it, hospitals are highly likely to postpone some non-urgent operations, treatments and routine appointments. Where this is the case, patients will be contacted directly.

Unfortunately, the NHS in mid and south Essex are aware that this will have a detrimental knock-on effect on local waiting times for planned care.

The NHS in mid and south Essex will be working hard to keep people safe during the planned strikes, whilst delivering the best care possible.

Dr Anna Davey, GP and Primary Care Partner member for NHS Mid and South Essex said:

“The local NHS will be under greater pressure than usual during this time, but we are committed to keeping disruption to services to a minimum. Our focus is on providing safe care for patients who need urgent and emergency services, and those receiving inpatient care in our hospitals.

You’ll be contacted if your appointment needs to be changed, so please turn up as usual if you are not contacted. We know how disappointing it will be for patients who have their appointments rescheduled and all efforts will be made to rearrange the appointments as quickly as possible.

If you need medical help or advice, please use the NHS symptom checker at nhs.uk or visit NHS 111 online in the first instance unless it is a life-threatening emergency when you should still call 999 or go to A&E. 

Local pharmacies are also great source of help and advice and residents do not need an appointment to speak with a pharmacist.”

Residents can also play their part to assist during industrial action by taking simple steps to look after themselves, their loved ones, vulnerable family members and neighbours, by checking in on them.

Residents are also asked to prepare in advance for Bank Holiday Monday (28 August) by ensuring they have sufficient supplies of medication in advance.

While GP practices do offer more evening and Saturday appointments, residents are reminded that GP practices will be closed on Bank Holiday Monday (28 August 2023) and you will need to leave enough time to leave enough time for your practice to process a repeat prescription (72 hours) and additional time for your pharmacy to dispense it.

For more information on when to call 999 and when to go to A&E, visit the NHS website.

Please see Bank Holiday Service Guide for the August bank holiday services guide with information on health services in mid and south Essex on bank holiday Monday.

Published: Wednesday, 23rd August 2023