Assurances from Harrogate hospital bosses ahead of strikes

Assurances from Harrogate hospital bosses ahead of strikes

Published at 4:38pm 19th November 2015. (Updated at 6:52pm 19th November 2015)

Junior doctors have voted to take strike action over a new contract affecting pay and working hours.

Three walkouts are being planned next month and Health Secretary Jeremy has described it as "very, very disappointing news".

In Harrogate, hospital bosses say plans will be put in place to make sure that patients are safe.

Phillip Marshall, Director of Workforce and Organisational Development 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.

"Our main priority remains patient safety. We are continuing to plan for the possibility of industrial action over the coming weeks and 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.

"At this point in time, elective operations planned in for the dates suggested for industrial action 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 or GP, 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."