East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust is reassuring patients that it has detailed plans in place to deal with the imminent industrial action by junior doctors.
The next junior doctors’ strike will take place tomorrow (Tuesday) and the following day.
In a change from previous industrial action, there will be a withdrawal of emergency cover, with junior doctors striking from 8am to 5pm each day.
The Trust is implementing a number of measures to ensure patients receive safe care and staffing levels are adequate.
Dr Damian Riley, Executive Medical Director at the Trust said: “To minimise the impact on the Trust at this very busy time, we would like to remind people not to come to A and E unless it is a real medical emergency.
“As during previous strikes, consultants will be providing cover on wards and across emergency care but we are likely to be very busy.
“There are lots of other options of where you can go for medical advice and treatment such calling 111, visiting the NHS Choices website (www.nhs.uk) or seeing your GP or pharmacist.
“Patients who require urgent and emergency care will continue to receive the treatment they need, when they need it.
“However, due to increased pressures on the Trust over this period, those in less urgent need of care may experience longer waiting times than normal.
“A number of elective operations and outpatients clinics have been cancelled and will be rearranged – those patients who are affected by this have been contacted.
“In all cases, priority will be given to those with the most pressing health needs to ensure that we can continue to provide safe, personal and effective care to all our patients.”