Reminder to get in the know about using NHS services during junior doctors’ strikes

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The NHS in Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland (LLR) is reminding local people about how to use NHS services ahead of junior doctors’ strikes which continue from tomorrow (3 January 2024) for a six-day period, at an already busy time of year.

Junior doctors will be on strike from 7am on Wednesday 3 January to 7am on Tuesday 9 January.

Dr Nil Sanganee, Chief Medical Officer for NHS Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland said: “Using the right NHS service for your particular medical problem is vital as we enter this latest period of industrial action. NHS services are much busier than normal at this time of year, directly following the festive period. It is more important than ever that people Get in the Know about how to get the right care, before setting out anywhere. You can get advice about the right action to take at www.getintheknow.co.uk.

“Even if services are busy and you need medical help, the NHS is here for you so please do seek help if you need it. Continue to attend any planned medical appointments. If an appointment needs to be rescheduled, the NHS will let you know.”

The NHS has issued these top tips ahead of the strikes:

  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, order anything you need in good time so you don’t run out. You can now use the NHS App for this.
  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. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. For urgent mental health support, call the Central Access Point on 0808 800 3302, 24/7, or visit a Neighbourhood Mental Health Cafe.
  9. The 999 service should only be used in a life-threatening emergency.

Get in the know about which service to use

The NHS has produced a short video summarising their advice

‘Get in the Know’ is an ongoing campaign which aims to support people across LLR to get the right care as quickly as possible. The campaign website www.getintheknow.co.uk explains more about how to use NHS services. The advice applies all year round, but it is particularly important at this time that people remind themselves about what to do and plan ahead in case they need medical help during the strikes.

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