NHS Greater Manchester asks the public use services wisely as it enters ninth month of strike action

10 August 2023

Entering the ninth month of industrial action, consultants, and junior doctors across NHS hospitals in Greater Manchester will be striking in August.

Junior doctors, who are qualified doctors in clinical training in either a hospital or general practice and make up around half of all doctors in the NHS, are planning to strike from 7am on Friday 11 August until 7am on Tuesday 15 August.

Consultants, senior doctors who see patients and are responsible for supervising junior doctors and other staff, will be taking action from 7am on Thursday 24 August until 7am on Saturday 26 August.

As with previous periods of strike action, NHS Greater Manchester has robust plans in place to prioritise resources to protect emergency treatment and critical care, minimise impact on patients and maintain patient safety. However, across both periods of industrial action disruption to services will be unavoidable. NHS Greater Manchester is asking for the public’s support in making sure it can treat those who need urgent care, by encouraging people to only call 999 or attend A&E if someone is seriously ill or injured or if their life is at risk.

The industrial action coincides with NHS Greater Manchester’s campaign – Get To Know Where To Go (GTKWTG). During the strike action, the NHS will still be there for those who need it and is reminding the public to continue accessing services when they need medical care. The GTKWTG campaign is supporting the public in knowing which service will be best for their needs as well as equipping them with the knowledge to take steps to look after their own health – helping ease pressure on emergency services during days of strike action. The GTKWTG webpage helps people understand which service is right for them based on their symptoms.

Dr Manisha Kumar, Chief Medical Officer for NHS Greater Manchester Integrated Care, said: “Our staff are working hard to ensure that we can continue to deliver safe care during the upcoming industrial action. However, services are likely to feel different for patients, and we could see longer waits when busy in emergency departments, non-urgent outpatient appointments rescheduled and treatment being postponed, though people should still attend their appointments unless they have been contacted and told not to.

“Our message remains that regardless of any strike action taking place, it is really important that patients who need urgent medical care continue to come forward as normal, especially in emergency and life-threatening cases. To help us treat those patients who need urgent care, we are asking members of the public to support us by using the most appropriate service for their needs. NHS 111 should be your first port-of-call (unless your call relates to a child under 5), as they can give you advice on services and care.

“You can also help by checking in on vulnerable family members and neighbours and if possible, if your relative or friend is due to be discharged from hospital and needs to be collected, please do whatever you can to help bring them home as early as possible – this will help our teams to free-up a hospital bed for someone waiting to be admitted.”

Advice ahead of the industrial action:

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