Junior Doctors' strike - Tuesday 11 April-Saturday 15 April: information for patients and public
5 April 2023
Junior Doctors who are members with the British Medical Association (BMA) and Hospital Doctor’s Union (HCSA) will be taking part in strike action lasting 96 hours from 7am Tuesday 11 April to 7am on Saturday 15 April. This will impact on services at Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust.
We know that this will have a significant impact on our hospitals, as our junior doctors are incredibly important to the running of our services and we really value their hard work and expertise. We recognise how challenging this period can be for colleagues and how difficult the decisions are that colleagues are having to make.
The strike is likely to cause major disruption to hospital services particularly as it immediately follows the Easter bank holiday period, when health services will already be under significant pressure. In addition, the strikes also come at a time when high levels of staff are on annual leave due to school Easter holidays.
During strike action, urgent and emergency treatment will be our priority. We are working closely with union representatives to ensure plans are in place to maintain safe care for patients, while facilitating and respecting the right of those staff who wish to take legal industrial action.
If we have not contacted you, please attend your appointment as planned. We will contact you if your appointment needs to be rescheduled due to strike action. We will be re-arranging any postponed appointments as a priority. We appreciate this situation is frustrating for patients affected and apologise for any inconvenience caused.
Regardless of any strike action taking place, it is really important that patients who need urgent medical care continue to come forward as normal, especially in emergency and life-threatening cases - when someone is seriously ill or injured, or their life is at risk. On days where there is strike action, patients should only call 999 if it is a medical or mental health emergency (when someone is seriously ill or injured and their life is at risk).
Where the situation is not life-threatening, alternative support will be available through NHS111 online or through calling NHS 111. For more information on when to call 999 and when to go to A&E, please visit the NHS UK website.
Thank you for your understanding.
Frequently Asked Questions
What if I need urgent or emergency care?
Anyone who needs urgent care should use NHS111 online to be assessed and directed to the right care for them. If you do not have internet access, then 111 helpline is available. When someone is seriously ill or injured and their life is at risk, you should seek emergency care in the normal way, by calling 999.
If staff are out on strike, what does it mean for emergency care?
In advance of strike action, health services have worked with unions to agree which members of staff can continue to work to ensure safe levels of care. These agreements are called derogations and often mean that some health union members will continue their work in line with an agreement between employers and unions. Where derogations have not been agreed, staff may have to be moved from other departments within a hospital to ensure emergency care can continue to be provided. Unfortunately, this could mean disruption to some routine appointments and procedures.
What will this mean for appointments?
During strike action emergency treatment will be prioritised and patients seeking urgent treatment will be seen. Unfortunately, this means emergency care may have to prioritised over some routine appointments and procedures. Everyone who has an appointment should attend as planned unless your local NHS provider has contacted you to reschedule. If they have not contacted you, please attend your appointment even if your Trust is affected by strikes.
What is considered an emergency?
Patients should only call 999 if seriously ill or injured, and there is risk to life. Ambulances will be dispatched where clinically appropriate.
Will emergency care be affected on strike days?
Emergency care will continue to be available across all parts of the country. It is really important that in emergency and life-threatening cases - when someone is seriously ill, or their life is at risk patients continue to come forward as normal.
When will I find out if my appointment is rescheduled?
The NHS will contact you if your appointment needs to be rescheduled due to strike action. This is likely to be a text, phone call or a letter and you should be offered an alternative date for your appointment. If you have not been contacted, please attend your appointment as planned.
If my appointment is rescheduled, will I be put back to the bottom of the waiting list?
Any appointments that need to be rescheduled will be done so as a priority.
Should I cancel my appointment on the day of strikes?
No, if you have not been contacted, please attend your appointment as planned.
I have a loved one who will be a hospital inpatient on strike day – how will their care be affected?
All hospital inpatients will be informed of how their care will be impacted on a ward-by-ward basis by the staff involved in delivering their care.
Will GP services be affected on strike days?
Junior doctors’ strikes may impact some appointments. Please continue to attend your GP appointments, unless you are contacted and told otherwise.
How long will services be impacted?
The British Medical Association (BMA) and the Hospital Consultants and Specialists Association (HCSA) have announced junior doctors strikes running from 06:59 on Tuesday 11 April until 06:59 on Saturday 15 April.