The NHS in London will prioritise urgent and emergency care during the upcoming industrial action planned by junior doctors who are members of the British Medical Association (BMA).
The 72-hour walkout by junior doctors across the capital will start at 7 am on Wednesday 14 June until 7 am on Saturday 17 June.
Junior doctors make up almost 50% of the NHS workforce, and while the NHS in London has prepared extensively, significant disruption to services is expected during this time.
To ensure safe care continues to be available for those with urgent and life-threatening healthcare needs, the NHS will prioritise emergency care, and patients should prepare for longer waits for non-urgent care along with some planned appointments and operations to be rescheduled to a later date. People should continue to attend hospital appointments unless they are contacted by their local NHS and informed otherwise.
NHS 111 online remains the best first port of call for people with urgent medical or dental care needs, where a trained adviser will provide advice and the best care pathway.
It is therefore vital that people use hospital emergency services appropriately to ensure care is available to patients who need it most.
GP practices will continue to be open during the junior doctor strike. People can also get health advice from local pharmacists who have the right clinical training to support with a range of non-urgent conditions and signpost patients to a GP or A&E where necessary.
No appointment is needed with local NHS pharmacy teams, who offer a fast and convenient service and if needed can speak to patients in the privacy of an on-site consultation room.
Ketan Agravat, Pharmacist at Pearl Chemist, Wandsworth said, “We encourage the community to come forward for pharmacist support for any health issues that are of concern, especially during this period of industrial action when other services are likely to be busier than usual.
“We are able to recommend the right treatment for a range of common conditions, such as tummy troubles, aches and pains, skin rashes, period pains and migraines.
“Furthermore, many pharmacies are open right through the week Monday to Saturday, sometimes Sundays, with no appointments needed.
“If you’re feeling unwell, don’t wait for your symptoms to get worse. For expert advice, talk to your local pharmacist.”