Junior doctors’ strike ends, but services will take time to return to normal

Junior doctors’ strike ends, but services will take time to return to normal image

Home » Junior doctors’ strike ends, but services will take time to return to normal

Health services in Bedfordshire, Luton and Milton Keynes will take time to get back to normal following the end of the longest strike in NHS history, a senior local doctor has warned.

Junior doctors went back to work at 7:00am today (Tuesday, 9 January) after six days of industrial action, but patients should not expect everything to start working as usual straight away.

Dr Sarah Whiteman, chief medical director at Bedfordshire, Luton and Milton Keynes Integrated Care Board said:

“We still have a large number of people in hospital with respiratory illnesses, as we would expect at this time of year, but the strike has made it more difficult to discharge some patients who might otherwise have been able to go home by now.

“We are also seeing the effects of this week’s cold snap.  The Cold Health Alert which began on Saturday has now been extended until Friday.  Cold weather can increase the risks of heart attacks, strokes, and chest infections, so it can have a serious impact on health, particularly for older people and those with pre-existing health conditions.

“You can help us by continuing to use only the services you need at the current time.  Your pharmacist is an excellent source of advice on your doorstep, and can offer immediate access to treatments for a wide range of illnesses and conditions, while many people also find 111 Online (111.nhs.uk) useful.

“Most of all, please treat our NHS staff with respect.  Everyone – whether that’s the doctor, nurse or other health professional treating you, or the administrator making sure your records are correct – is doing their best to ensure our services get back to normal, so please don’t let your frustrations get the better of you.

“I’d also like to thank those who’ve worked so hard to ensure that local people were still able to access care during the strike period.  I know their efforts have been greatly appreciated by patients and their families.”

Dr Whiteman also stressed, however, that patients needing urgent medical care should continue to come forward as normal, especially in emergencies and when someone is seriously ill or injured, or their life is at risk.

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