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Monday 18 September 2023

An open message to the residents of Hampshire and the Isle of Wight ahead of industrial action

All NHS health and care providers across Hampshire and the Isle of Wight have been working hard to look after our patients whilst respecting our colleagues' right to strike. Ahead of the next round of strikes we wanted to explain what you can expect from us and how we can best support each other.

On Tuesday 19 September consultants will go on strike from 7am. Then on Wednesday 20 September they will be joined by junior doctors marking the first time in NHS history their strikes have overlapped. They will overlap again when they strike on 2, 3, 4 October and they will be joined by radiographers on October 3. *

Our services are currently extremely busy and we expect them to remain busy and under increased pressure during the strikes.

You can help us by only attending our Emergency Departments or calling 999 if your condition is life threatening such as sign of a heart attack, stroke, heavy bleeding, or difficulty breathing. Please don’t wait if your condition is life or limb threatening, it is important that patients who need urgent medical care continue to come forward as normal.

If it isn’t an emergency, please use other services such as using your nearest Urgent Treatment Centre, community pharmacy for minor ailments or medication queries, or a consultation with your GP. You can call or visit 111 online if you need urgent help and aren’t sure where to go.

Planned appointments and procedures are likely to be affected and we know how upsetting this will be for people who may have already faced delays to their treatment. We apologise for any disruption you may face. If you aren’t contacted by us to rearrange, please still attend as some services may continue. If you are concerned about your health or any changes in your condition since you last spoke with us, contact the team who have been caring for you in the way you usually would.

Our teams are working incredibly hard and they really appreciate the support they continue to receive from the public and our patients during this challenging time. Even with the extra pressure that our staff are under, please be reassured they are working hard to keep people safe. Emergency Departments will prioritise patients who are in need of our services for life-saving care so that will likely mean longer waits for conditions that are less critical.

Please do consider all the services available to you, the NHS is always here to provide advice and care but anything you can do to plan ahead or keep yourself safe, will really help us.

Thank you, for helping us to help you.

Hampshire & Isle of Wight Chief Medical and Chief Nursing Officers

This message was co-signed by: 

Lara Alloway, Chief Medical Officer, Hampshire and Isle of Wight Integrated Care Board

John Knighton, Chief Medical Officer, Portsmouth Hospitals University NHS Trust

Liz Rix, Chief Nurse, Portsmouth Hospitals University NHS Trust

Gail Byrne, Chief Nursing Officer, University Hospital Southampton

Trevor Smith, Deputy Chief Medical Officer, University Hospital Southampton

Dan Baylis, Chief Medical Officer, Solent NHS Trust

Julie Dawes, Chief Nursing Officer, Hampshire Hospitals NHS Trust

Nick Ward, Acting Chief Medical Officer, Hampshire Hospitals NHS Trust

Victoria Laakkonen, Interim Chief Medical Officer, Southern Health NHS Trust

Nicky Lucey, Chief Nursing Officer Hampshire and Isle of Wight Integrated Care Board

Steve Parker, Medical Director, Isle of Wight NHS Trust

Juliet Pearce, Director of Nursing, Midwifery and Allied Health Professionals, Isle of Wight NHS Trust

Details of strike action this week:

Consultants who are members of the British Medical Association (BMA) are set to take industrial action for 48 hours from 7am on Tuesday 19 September. Junior doctors who are members of the BMA will then join consultants on strike at 7am on Wednesday 20 September until 7am on Saturday 23 September.