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Junior doctors at North Cumbria Integrated Care NHS Foundation Trust (NCIC) will participate in national industrial action for 72 hours starting at 7am on Monday 13th March 2023. This is after members of the British Medical Association (BMA) and the Hospital Consultants and Specialists Association (HCSA) voted in favour of industrial action.

Our priority is to keep our patients safe, therefore we putting extensive plans in place to minimise the impact of the action and to keep as many services running as possible. Regardless of any strike action taking place, it is very important that anyone who needs urgent medical care continues to come forward, especially in emergency and life-threatening situations.

Unfortunately we will have to postpone some planned routine appointments and procedures to make sure we can prioritise those who need urgent care. If we have not contacted you via letter or phone call, please attend your appointment as planned. You will be contacted if your appointment needs to be rescheduled due to the industrial action. We appreciate this will be frustrating, however it is essential to allow us to focus on emergency care. All appointments will be rearranged as a priority.

We would like to thank members of our local communities in advance for their support and understanding as our junior doctors take part in industrial action. We expect our services to be impacted during the action period but we are doing all we can to minimise that impact. Our junior doctors provide an essential part of our patient care and we are grateful to other staff who have come forward to cover critical gaps in our services.

One way members of the public can help us is by choosing the most appropriate service for their need. We expect our A&E departments to be very busy next week and we will be prioritising those who need us the most. Therefore, we ask if you need non-urgent care to seek help through your GP, local pharmacist or NHS 111 online.

There is more information about choosing the right place to go for care and treatment on the NCIC website.

Frequently asked questions

What is happening?

Trade unions representing NHS staff are in dispute with the Government over the 2022/2023 pay award. A number of the unions have balloted their NHS members to take part in industrial action. This is the first round of action by the BMA and continuous strike action is expected to take place on Monday 13 March to Thursday 16 March and will include junior doctors from NCIC.

The NHS wants to see a resolution as soon as possible, but pay is a matter for the Government and the trade unions. 

What if I need urgent or emergency care?

Anyone who needs urgent care should use NHS 111 online or call 111 to be assessed and directed to the right care for them. When someone is seriously ill or injured and their life is at risk, you should seek emergency care in the normal way, by calling 999 or attending A&E.

What if I have an appointment on strike days?

Everyone who has an appointment should attend as planned, unless we have contacted you to reschedule. If we have not contacted you, please attend your appointment as normal. If your appointment has been postponed and you were due to come into hospital using patient transport ambulance services, please let them know.

Will emergency care be affected on strike days?

Emergency care will continue to be available across all parts of the country. It is really important that in emergency and life-threatening cases – when someone is seriously ill or their life is at risk patients continue to come forward as normal.

Will GP services be affected on strike days?

GP services will be running as normal on strike days. Please continue to attend scheduled GP appointments.

When will I find out if my appointment is rescheduled?

We will contact you if your appointment needs to be rescheduled due to strike action. This is likely to be a letter or phone call, and you should be offered an alternative date for your appointment. If we have not contacted you, please attend your appointment as planned.

Is there anything I should do now?

No. We will contact you if your appointment needs to be rescheduled due to strike action.

Should I cancel my appointment on the day of strikes?

No, if we have not contacted you, please attend your appointment as planned. If you are not sure if your appointment is going ahead, please contact the clinic / department in your letter.

How long will services be impacted?

This is a continuous 72-hour strike which means industrial action will start at 7am on Monday 13 March and last until 7am on Thursday 16 March and last over the course of those days and nights.