East Kent Hospitals has business continuity plans in place that cover industrial action. We are further enhancing those processes across all of our hospitals to continue providing safe and effective services for patients who will need our care on strike action days.
As well as increasing senior doctor presence on strike days, we have taken measures to increase capacity in our hospitals to ensure we can see and treat patients who require urgent or immediate care. These measures include rescheduling some non-urgent appointments.
Where it has been necessary to re-schedule non-urgent appointments, patients affected on 12 January have been notified by telephone and patients whose appointments fall on 26 January and 10 February that need to be rescheduled will be contacted in advance in the same way.
Advice for patients
We reiterate the normal advice to people requiring healthcare – that is to use the right service for their need, allowing our specialist A&E staff to focus on those who need immediate or urgent care. In the event that people do need medical help or advice they are strongly encouraged to use NHS Choices, dial NHS 111 or visit www.healthhelpnow-nhs.net in the first instance, if possible.