Doctors’ strike won’t have ‘significant impact’ on Milton Keynes Hospital

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BOSSES at Milton Keynes Hospital have issued a statement saying they are not expecting next week’s doctors’ strike to have a significant impact on their services.

GPs throughout the country will be staging a walkout on Thursday (June 21) over pensions.

A majority of doctors voted in favour of the day of action in a ballot of 104,000 members of the British Medical Association.

The move comes in the wake of increases to pension contributions, and a later retirement age for doctors.

Many thousands of operations and diagnostic tests have had to be cancelled or postponed throughout the UK, but MK Hospital’s chief operating officer Darren Leech said it shouldn’t create any major problems for them.

But he did ask people not to come into A&E unless they were suffering from a genuine emergency.

“We are not expecting a significant impact from next week’s strikes,” said Mr Leech.

“However we are expecting to be busier than usual in A&E due to the impact on other local health services. Therefore we ask anyone considering coming to A&E on June 21 to give extra thought to whether this is the right place for them. If in doubt, please check the {http://www.choosewell.org.uk|Choose Well website.”

The strike action has been heavily criticised by health secretary Andrew Lansley.

In a letter to the British Medical Association, he said it will “at best inconvenience and at worst harm” patients.

The BMA maintains the strike will not impact on safety and those with the most serious needs would still be seen.

Mr Leech advised that anyone feeling unwell, but unsure of the best course of action, should use the hospital’s simple Choose Well guide to decide. There are a range of local NHS services to choose from and you don’t always need to see a GP or go to A&E:

Self Care - This is the best choice to treat very minor illnesses, ailments and injuries. A range of common illnesses and complaints can be treated with a well stocked medicine cabinet and plenty of rest.

NHS Direct - NHS Direct provides expert health advice and information via a confidential telephone service, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. You can call 0845 46 47.

Pharmacy - Your local chemist can provide confidential, expert advice and treatment for a range of common illnesses and complaints, without having to wait for a GP appointment or go to your A&E..

GP services - Your GP can help if you have an illness or injury that won’t go away. Simply make an appointment.

GP out of hours service - If it’s an emergency and you need care after hours, call your GP surgery and listen to the message which will let you know what to do.

Urgent Care Centre - If you urgently need a doctor outside of normal hours in Milton Keynes, please contact the Milton Keynes Urgent Care Service on 01908 201022. The GP service is available between 6pm-8am on weekdays, and 24 hours a day at weekends and bank holidays. The urgent care telephone number is available to call 24 hours a day if you need medical help fast, but it’s not a life-threatening situation.

Accident and Emergency - An emergency is a critical or life-threatening situation, and A&E departments or the 999 ambulance service should only be used in these situations. Click here for more information.