Posted: Tue 20th Feb 2024

North Wales health board “working hard to keep patients safe” during strikes but warns routine appointments may be cancelled

News and Info from Deeside, Flintshire, North Wales
This article is old - Published: Tuesday, Feb 20th, 2024

Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board has said it is “working hard with staff to keep patients safe during planned strikes while delivering the best care possible.”

Junior doctors across the region will stage a 72 hour walkout, between 7am on Wednesday, 21 February until 7am on Saturday, 24 February.

The industrial action could see more than 3,000 doctors with up to 11 years of experience out of medical school withdraw their labour from Welsh hospitals and GP surgeries across Wales in pursuit of a fairer deal for their service

Junior doctors are calling for their pay to be restored in line with inflation back to 2008 levels.

According to the BMA Cymru Wales, which represents junior doctors in Wales, the decision to strike comes after the Welsh Government failed to produce a credible offer to end the dispute.

A 96 hour walkout is also planned from 7am Monday 25 March and 7am Friday 29 March.

Earlier this week Health Minister Eluned Morgan said that the Welsh Government are always open to further talks but they don’t have the budget available to increase the pay deal.

She added that whilst urgent and life-threatening care will continue to be provided during second junior doctors strike in Wales this week, patients are being warned of significant disruption to other services.

Commenting ahead of Wednesday’s strike Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board said that work was was underway to keep patients safe during the strikes.

However some routine appointments will be cancelled over the 72 hours.

A health board spokesperson said: “Please be aware that industrial action by junior doctors is due to take place in Wales between 7am on Wednesday, 21 February and continue until 7am on Saturday, 24 February 2024.

“This will impact our hospital services and we are currently working hard with our staff to keep patients safe during planned strikes while delivering the best care possible.

“This does, however, mean that some planned care appointments will need to be rearranged.

“Anyone who has an appointment that needs to be rearranged will be contacted directly to discuss this.

“If you have a planned appointment then please still attend unless you are contacted directly to say otherwise.

“During this time we would urge anyone who requires care or support to visit the NHS 111 Wales website in the first instance to be advised about the most appropriate service, which might be self-care at home, a visit to the pharmacy, a GP appointment, a Minor Injuries Unit, or, in life threatening circumstances, the hospital Emergency Department.”

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