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‘Frustrating and distressing’ few days expected at Queen Elizabeth Hospital in King’s Lynn ahead of junior doctor strikes

Hospital bosses are expecting a “frustrating and distressing” few days ahead of a fresh round of junior doctor strikes getting under way this week.

The British Medical Association (BMA) has announced two further rounds of industrial action to be taken this month and in January.

A three-day walkout will take place between 7am on Wednesday and 7am on Saturday.

Staff at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Lynn are preparing for a fresh round of junior doctor strikes
Staff at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Lynn are preparing for a fresh round of junior doctor strikes

Junior doctors will also take part in a six-day walkout between 7am on Wednesday, January 3 and 7am on Tuesday, January 9.

Staff at Lynn’s Queen Elizabeth Hospital will prioritise maintaining emergency and life-preserving care during these periods, aiming to see and treat patients with the greatest clinical need.

A QEH spokesperson said: “In line with other hospitals in the region, there will be a reduction in the number of routine operations, planned procedures and outpatient appointments during this time.

“This will allow remaining clinicians to focus on providing emergency and inpatient care.

“We understand how frustrating and distressing this will be for patients, and we are sorry that people will have appointments rearranged. Please do attend appointments unless you are informed otherwise.”

Staff have also urged people to only attend the QEH’s emergency department when absolutely necessary to ensure that care is available to patients with serious injuries and for genuine emergencies.

These include chest pain, breathing difficulties, signs of a stroke and bleeding that will not stop.

During the upcoming strikes, people are still able to seek urgent medical help by visiting 111.nhs.uk or phoning 111 for anything that feels urgent, both physically and mentally, or if they are unsure what to do.

For a life-threatening emergency, people should call 999 or go to their nearest emergency department.

The QEH spokesperson added: “If you have a medical appointment and have not been contacted by a staff member, please continue to attend your appointment as usual.

“If you are unable to make your NHS appointment, please remember to contact the number on your appointment letter so that it can be reallocated to another patient. Please also cancel any booked transport.

“If you are contacted by a member of our team to cancel your appointment, we urge people to be kind and respectful towards our staff making these calls, and please know that they are working hard to reschedule these as quickly as possible.”

The BMA says it wants to achieve three aims with its strike action.

These include a “full pay restoration” to reverse what members feel has been a “steep decline in pay faced by junior doctors since 2008/9”.

They also want to agree on a mechanism with the Government to prevent any future declines against the cost of living and inflation, as well as reform the DDRB (Doctors' and Dentists' Review Body) process so pay increases can be recommended independently.

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