Q | Can I go to hospital?
A | If you need to, yes. Hospitals will still be functioning. Junior doctors make up a very large part of the medical workforce but not all of it. Senior medics – consultants – will be drafted in to fill gaps where possible.
Q | What about emergencies?
A | Tuesday’s strike does not affect emergency services. Junior doctors will be working at A&Es and in other urgent care specialties. However, they are expected to be under additional pressure because of delays in other parts of the hospital. NHS England has encouraged patients, where possible, to contact their GP, local pharmacist or NHS 111 phone line rather than go to hospital – but this is standard advice all year round, and particularly in this busy winter period.
Q | What if I have a hospital appointment booked for Tuesday?
A | Around 4,000 procedures are expected to be cancelled, most of them on Tuesday.
NHS England has said that any patients whose appointments are affected by the industrial action will have been contacted by their hospital if a rearrangement needs to be made.
Anyone with concerns should contact the hospital or NHS provider that arranged the appointment, to make sure.
Q | Are GP services affected?
A | Junior doctors include trainee GPs, so family doctors are not completely unaffected. However, NHS England has said GP services will be available as normal on Tuesday, although it will probably be difficult now to make a last-minute appointment.
Q | When does the strike end?
A | Tuesday's action will last from 8am until 8am on Wednesday. It is the first of three planned strikes.
The next one will last 48 hours and will start at 8am on Tuesday 26 January, if no deal with the Government has been reached by then.
If progress has still not been made by Wednesday 10 February, a full walkout, including from emergency and urgent care, will take place between 8am and 5pm.
Q | What advice is NHS England issuing to patients?
A | As well as emphasising the importance of only using A&E in an emergency, officials have said people should be “particularly attentive to their health” during the strike period, and should look out for vulnerable family members and neighbours.
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