Be prepared and think 111 first during Easter and junior doctor strikes

The British Medical Association (BMA) has confirmed that junior doctor industrial action is scheduled to take place with a 96-hour strike, which will start on Tuesday 11 April.

The junior doctors strike, which relates to the union’s dispute with the UK Government over pay, is due to start at 6.59am on 11 April and run until 6.59am on Saturday 15 April.

Our primary focus on these strike days is to maintain services for patients who need emergency and life preserving care. We have robust plans to deal with a range of disruptions and our senior doctors will be providing cover to maintain urgent and emergency services.

During industrial action, we will need to reduce the number of appointments we have planned at our Trust. We are contacting patients directly if this means that their appointment will need to be postponed. We understand how disappointing and concerning this will be for those waiting for treatment and we are very sorry this is the case. We will re-arrange these appointments as quickly as possible.

If you do not hear from us, please attend your hospital appointment as planned.

The action comes directly after a four-day bank holiday weekend (Friday 7 April – Monday 10 April) where emergency services are often busier than normal.

If you need medical care or advice, please call the NHS 111 helpline, or visit NHS 111 Online.

Contact NHS 111 if:

  • You need medical help fast, but it’s not a 999 emergency.
  • You don’t know who to call for medical help or you don’t have a GP to call.
  • You think you need to go to A&E or another NHS urgent care service; or you require health information or reassurance about what to do next.

GP practices, pharmacies, Norwich Walk-In Centre and Cromer Minor Injuries Unit remain open during this strike action.

Here are some things that people can do in the lead up to Easter and during industrial action to look after themselves and their loved ones:

  • Check your prescription medicines now. Make sure you and your loved ones have enough supply of any prescribed medicines to last you over this period. If your medication will run out over the bank holiday, consider whether you need to place an order now.
  • Think NHS 111 first. For anything which feels urgent, or if you don’t know what to do, visit or call 111 and you will be directed to the most appropriate service. Trained NHS advisors can provide health advice, connect you to a healthcare professional, arrange a face-to-face appointment including home visits and out of hours appointments, or give you an arrival time if you need to go to your local emergency department.
  • If you need urgent mental health help, call 111 and choose the mental health option.
  • Remember self-care. Many common ailments can be treated at home with a well-stocked first aid kit. Heartburn and hangovers for example can be treated at home with a well-stocked medicine cabinet.
  • Visit your local pharmacy. Many pharmacies are open over bank holidays and can offer expert advice on common conditions such as colds, sore throats and rashes. Check pharmacy Easter opening hours in advance –
  • In case of emergency. Only call 999 or attend accident and emergency departments for serious accidents and for genuine emergencies, like chest pain, breathing difficulties, signs of a stroke or bleeding that won’t stop. Please do not delay in calling if you need this service.
  • Check in on family members, friends, neighbours to ensure people remain well at home

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