Industrial action at Buckinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust by junior doctors

Date: 02/01/2024 | Category: News 2024

Junior doctors are due to take further strike action for six days from 7am on Wednesday, 3 January until 7am on Tuesday, 9 January 2024.

This will be the longest consecutive strike in NHS history and follows three days of strikes by junior doctors which finished on 23 December 2023.

The latest action is highly likely to have a significant impact on health services across Buckinghamshire, Oxfordshire and Berkshire West during one of most challenging periods of the year for patient care.

The NHS is working to prioritise resources to protect emergency treatment, critical care, neonatal care, maternity, and trauma, and ensure priority for patients who have waited the longest for elective care and cancer surgery. The NHS will only reschedule appointments and procedures where necessary and will rebook immediately, where possible. Unfortunately, these strikes will affect planned and routine services.

Patients who have a scheduled appointment should attend as planned unless they hear from the NHS directly that the appointment has been changed.

In the meantime, people can help by using 111 online or calling 111 to get the best service for their needs, ensuring prescriptions are up to date and looking out for vulnerable family and friends.

Dr Nick Broughton, interim Chief Executive of the NHS Buckinghamshire, Oxfordshire and Berkshire West Integrated Care Board, said: “The six-day walkout during what is one of the busiest times for the NHS, will bring significant challenges to our services.

“Our services are already facing high demand during this holiday season with increasing rates of COVID and the seasonal Norovirus, and the first week of January is traditionally very busy, which will add further pressure.

“Emergencies, critical care, maternity, trauma and neonatal care safe staffing will be our absolute priority, and the NHS is working together across Buckinghamshire, Oxfordshire and Berkshire West to ensure we are there for people when they need us. We’re grateful to all our colleagues working during this time to keep services running and patients safe and we urge the public to be kind and treat all staff with respect.”

Dr Rachael de Caux, Chief Medical Officer at the NHS Buckinghamshire, Oxfordshire and Berkshire West Integrated Care Board, said: “Patients who need urgent medical care must 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.

“We expect Emergency Departments (ED) to be very busy during strike action so it’s important people choose the most appropriate NHS Service for their needs, and only use 999 and ED for serious or life threatening emergencies, such as chest pain, severe bleeding or breathing difficulties.

“GP practices are open as usual as are community pharmacies. NHS 111 online or by phone will help you get to the part of the NHS that can best respond to your needs. 111 can direct you to minor injury units, urgent treatment centres and arrange for doctors or other clinicians to speak to you if you need help or more urgent attention. It may take longer during this period to be seen and treated so we ask you to please be patient.”

Please remember:

  • Continue to access GPs as normal
  • Go to NHS 111 online or call to get the right service for your needs
  • Make sure your repeat prescriptions are up to date
  • Stay safe and look out for vulnerable family and friends
  • Keep appointments unless you are contacted by the NHS with alternative arrangements
  • Remember the Emergency Department is for emergencies and life-threatening situations.