11:01AM, Tuesday 26 April 2016
A full emergency service will continue at Frimley Health’s hospitals during the junior doctor strike but many planned operations and outpatient clinics will be rescheduled.
The trust, which runs Slough’s Wexham Park Hospital and Ascot’s Heatherwood Hospital, has said the rescheduling is necessary to ensure it can provide safe staffing levels for emergency care.
The British Medical Association has called for the first national withdrawal of all labour by junior doctors in the history of the NHS between 8am and 5pm today (Tuesday) and tomorrow (Wednesday).
The strike will have a bigger impact than previous industrial action as it is the first time junior doctors will not provide emergency cover.
Berkshire Healthcare has said ‘effective plans’ are in place to deal with the strikes and that its clinics and appointments should not be affected.
It is not expecting any significant disruption to its services and has told patients to keep appointments unless they are told otherwise.
Frimley Health NHS Foundation Trust’s medical director Dr Tim Ho said: “We have known about this for several weeks so we have been able to put robust and comprehensive plans in place that focus on patient safety.
"Unfortunately this will mean postponing a significant number of patient appointments. We are sorry for the inconvenience this will cause but we hope everyone affected understands that we must focus our resources on those in most urgent need.
"Everyone whose appointment has been rearranged will be contacted directly by the trust in advance, so unless you have heard from us please attend your appointment as normal."
The industrial action only affects hospital doctors below consultant level. GP practices will be open as normal during the two days of industrial action.
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