A number of outpatient clinics and procedures at the Royal Bolton Hospital and some appointments at Bolton One have been postponed in view of the industrial action by junior doctors due to take place nationally on Wednesday 10th February 2016.
The proposed action relates to a national dispute with the Government over proposed changes to junior doctors’ contracts. A ballot by the BMA (British Medical Association) found the junior doctors were overwhelmingly in favour of industrial action. This national dispute cannot be resolved by Bolton NHS Foundation Trust as an employer and can only be resolved at a national level. The Trust employs 157 junior doctors who are at various stages of training.
The strike due to take place on Wednesday 10th February runs from 8a.m. until 8a.m. on Thursday 11th February and means the juniors will cover emergency care only which is the same as they would provide in their specialty on Christmas Day for instance.
Junior Doctors Industrial Action Leaflet [74kb] PDF
The Trust’s overriding statutory obligation is to provide high quality and safe services to patients during any periods of industrial action and therefore it is taking measures to ensure that these are not compromised. In particular the Trust has been working with the BMA s to ensure that patients who need emergency or critical care – including for cancer – are not affected.
The Trust is sending letters to those patients whose appointments or procedures are being postponed.
Stephen Hodgson, Medical Director at the Trust, said: “We have been working closely with junior doctors and consultants to develop strong contingency plans. Our consultants will be working with our non-trainee doctors and senior nurses to ensure services are supported and covered. The safety and care of patients is our top priority and those who need urgent care will continue to be treated as quickly as possible.
There may be longer waits than usual in some departments and in particular I’d urge people to consider alternatives to coming to the Accident and Emergency Department where possible.”