Local NHS issues advice for patients during junior doctors’ strikes

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The NHS in Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland (LLR) has issued advice for patients ahead of a five-day junior doctors’ strike, which starts this weekend. The strikes come at a time of year when all NHS services are already much busier than normal.

Junior doctors will be on strike from 7am on Saturday 24 February to 11:59pm on Wednesday 28 February.

Dr Nil Sanganee,Chief Medical Officer for NHS Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland said: “Right across the local NHS, we have well-established plans in place to make sure patients can continue to get the care they need during the strike action. People should continue to contact the NHS straight away if they need help, including GP practices which aren’t affected by the strikes. We want people to continue to attend any planned medical appointments, unless we have let you know they have been rescheduled.

“The best way for people to get advice about the right care for their particular situation is to use NHS 111 before setting out anywhere. It is available 24/7 by telephone, online or can be found on the NHS App. This is what we would recommend at any time of year, but it is particularly important during the strikes when services that are already busy, will be even busier than normal.”

The local NHS has issued these tips ahead of the strikes, which coincide with the end of the half term holidays in Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland:

  1. If you do need medical help, come forward straight away.
  2. Please attend any planned medical appointments as normal. The NHS will contact you if your appointment needs to be rescheduled.
  3. If you take regular prescribed medication, do continue taking it as recommended to prevent your condition deteriorating. Remember to take your medication with you if you are going away. Order any medication you need in good time so you don’t run out. You can now use the NHS App for this and can arrange to collect your medication from any pharmacy.
  4. If you are normally in good health and you have a minor illness, you can usually treat this yourself at home. Get advice from your local pharmacy, NHS 111 online or the NHS App.
  5. Pharmacies can provide advice and medication for many common or minor illnesses at convenient times and without an appointment, so do try a pharmacy first.
  6. GP practices are not affected by the strikes and will be open as normal. Their opening core hours are Monday to Friday from 8am to 6:30pm, excluding bank holidays. Many practices are open later in the evening and at weekends.
  7. Where you can, use the NHS App to make requests from your GP practice at a convenient time for you, for example for booking appointments, ordering repeat prescriptions and viewing your health record or correspondence.
  8. If you need urgent help and your GP practice is closed, use NHS 111 (online, by phone or using the NHS App), available 24/7. They will review your symptoms and refer you to the most appropriate service based on your needs.  They can even book an appointment or arrival time at local urgent care services to keep your waiting time to a minimum.
  9. There are eight urgent care services that can be used without an appointment and three for x-rays instead of the Emergency Department. Find out more at https://bit.ly/LLRUrgentCare
  10. For urgent mental health support, call the Central Access Point on 0808 800 3302, 24/7, or visit a Neighbourhood Mental Health Cafe.
  11. The 999 service should only be used in a life-threatening emergency.
  12. If you are unwell when away from home in the UK, your first port of call should be your own GP practice. They will be able to provide online, phone and video consultations and arrange for prescriptions to be sent to any pharmacy you choose.
  13. Pack a basic first aid kit if you are going away or on a day trip.

For further information, visit https://bit.ly/RightNowNHSLLR

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