NHS braces for disruption to patients caused by rail strike

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The NHS “remains open”, main medics have stated because the health service prepares for disruption caused by rail strikes.

Patients have been urged to plan forward for appointments.

And hospitals have made preparations to guarantee workers will likely be on web site, together with establishing park-and-ride providers and taxi-sharing services.

The strikes might have a specific affect on hospitals in London, a lot of which have restricted parking capability for these contemplating driving to appointments as a substitute.

While buses are nonetheless working it’s anticipated these will likely be busier than ordinary due to the strikes.

NHS patients have been urged to plan their journey forward of the rail strikes subsequent week (PA)

(PA Archive)

Rail employee strikes on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday are set to trigger journey disruption throughout the nation.

Meanwhile strike motion may also disrupt the London Underground on Tuesday.

Many trusts have urged patients to get in contact if they can’t attend their appointment due to strikes.

The Royal Free stated in an announcement: “Our hospitals will be open as normal but please do let us know in advance if you are unable to attend your appointment.”

King’s College Hospital stated: “We recognise that some patients and visitors are likely to experience difficulty accessing our hospital sites on the strike days, but also on the days in-between.

“We would like to reassure patients and visitors that hospital services will continue as normal during this period.”

Meanwhile patients had been warned of potential delays in the event that they had been late for appointments due to journey disruption.

Barts health, one of many largest trusts in London, stated in an announcement: “Our staff will be flexible with appointment timings, allowing for the fact that patients may be delayed on route.

“Please note that you may then experience a wait if you do arrive later than your specified appointment time. If you are delayed on your way to your appointment, please contact the team to let them know.”

Hospitals additionally warned of “busier than usual” automotive parks, notably trusts primarily based in outer London.

As properly as affecting affected person appointments, the strikes may additionally hamper NHS workers commutes.

Moorfield’s Eye Hospital in London reminded patients that workers “will have the same difficulties in travelling in to offer appointments as you will”.

Some trusts have put additional measures in place to guarantee workers cowl through the journey disruption.

“Staff will be coming in, as usual, to ensure those who need us get the care they need. The trust has put a number of measures in place to ensure these staff are unaffected,” Epsom and St Helier University Hospitals NHS Trust stated in an announcement.

The Trust informed PA it had arrange a brief park-and-ride service for workers working at Epsom hospital and it has additionally expanded its shuttle bus service.

Staff are additionally being inspired to cycle, stroll or automotive share whereas those that can do business from home are being requested to accomplish that.

Central and North West London NHS Trust, which offers a spread of providers together with psychological health care and sexual health providers, added: “Our wards will be fully staffed (we have plans to make sure staff can get to work).”

On Friday, Professor Sir Stephen Powis, nationwide medical director for the NHS in England, stated: “With rail strikes expected across the country next week, I am urging those who have appointments booked in to plan ahead and look at alternative options for getting to their GP practice or hospital if needed.

“The NHS sees millions of people every week for urgent and routine care and it is vital that people access the care they need despite disruptions – the NHS remains open, so please do continue to come forward.”

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