Harrogate Hospital

All surgery to go ahead at Harrogate hospital despite day of action

10 February 2016

Junior doctors in England have today (10 February 2016) begun a second 24-hour strike over pay and conditions.

The main discussion point is around payments for working on Saturdays. The British Medical Association (BMA) wants the whole day to be paid at an unsociable hours rate, but Government say the hours between 07:00 and 17:00 should be paid at the basic rate.

  • Nationally 2,884 operations have been cancelled
  • Harrogate has not needed to cancel any operations, but 68 outpatient operations have been re-arranged

Robert Harrison, Chief Operating Officer at Harrogate and District NHS Foundation Trust, said:

Like all NHS organisations, we have tried and tested plans to deal with a range of disruptions, including industrial action.

We worked hard to minimise disruption to patients during the previous day of industrial action in January, and we expect this week to be broadly similar given the action being taken is the same.

Our main priority remains patient safety. We are continuing to plan to ensure we robustly protect the safety and welfare of patients and ensure that services continue to be provided.

Patients in need of urgent and emergency care will continue to receive the treatment they need, when they need it. However, due to increased pressures on services over this period, those in less urgent need of care may experience longer waiting times than normal. In all cases priority will be given to those patients with the most pressing health needs.

Some outpatients clinics will be disrupted and we are contacting individual patients directly if there are any changes. Our advice at the moment is that patients should attend their appointment if they have one.

At this point in time, elective operations planned in for 10 February 2016 will be taking place as planned. If this changes we will communicate directly with those individuals affected.

People are also reminded of the other healthcare options available instead of calling 999 – such as visiting their pharmacist, calling NHS 111 or using NHS Choices (www.nhs.uk).

We have excellent relations with the trade unions that represent junior doctors within our organisation. We will continue to work constructively with them to maintain the safety and quality of patient care while facilitating the right of those staff who wish to take legal industrial action in relation to this national dispute regarding the introduction of a new contract.

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