King’s Lynn hospital patients told to attend as normal unless informed of strike disruption

GV of the Queen Elizabeth Hospital , King's Lynn
GV of the Queen Elizabeth Hospital , King's Lynn
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Patients at Lynn’s Queen Elizabeth Hospital have been urged to attend appointments as normal tomorrow, unless they have been notified of disruption caused by the planned junior doctors’ strike.

Four clinics and a day surgery list have already been cancelled at the Gayton Road site for tomorrow because of the scheduled walkout.

But managers say that patients who have not been contacted directly by the hospital and who have appointments tomorrow, should still attend as normal.

Chief executive Dorothy Hosein said a short time ago: “Our primary focus is to ensure the continued safety and care of our patients during any period of industrial action and we have developed comprehensive plans to maintain this.

“The hospital will operate as close to normal as possible tomorrow, however, there will be a number of cancellations.

“We have directly contacted all patients whose appointments have been affected and we would ask anyone who has not heard from us, but has an appointment tomorrow, to attend the hospital as normal.”

Talks between NHS employers and the British Medical Association are continuing this afternoon in a bid to avert the industrial action.

But, barring a last-minute breakthrough, the QEH’s junior doctors will join their colleagues in a 24 hour walkout at 8am on Tuesday in protest at proposed changes to their contracts.

Four clinics and one day surgery list have been cancelled as a result of the strike, while two other surgery lists have been reduced. A number of appointments have also been rescheduled.

Following tomorrow’s scheduled strike, a 48-hour walkout, in which only emergency care will be provided, is set to begin at 8am on Tuesday, January 26.

And a full nine-hour stoppage, in which junior doctors will not do any work at all, is planned for February 10.

The dispute relates to a proposal to change junior doctors’ contracts, which the government has insisted are needed to create more seven day services in the NHS.

Although doctors were offered an 11 per cent rise in basic pay last year, that was balanced by reductions in payments for unsociable hours.

The BMA argues that the government’s plans could make patients less safe because of the weakening of key safeguards designed to prevent doctors from being overworked.

Earlier, prime minister David Cameron urged the BMA to halt the action.

But. last week, the union indicated that further concessions would be needed to suspend the strikes.