PLANNED and routine non-urgent care is expected to be disrupted as junior doctors and consultants are set to go on strike this August.

Junior doctors who are members of the British Medical Association (BMA) are set to take industrial action for four days from Friday, August 11.

The strike will take place between 7am on August 11 and 7am on August 15 and will impact services across Hampshire and the Isle of Wight. This will be the fifth strike by junior doctors since the pay dispute began.

Consultants who are members of the BMA will then take strike action just over a week later for 48 hours from 7am on Thursday, August 24. This is the second time during this round of industrial action that consultants are taking strike action.

Ahead of the strike health chiefs in Hampshire are calling for residents to make sure they choose the most appropriate NHS service for their needs to help keep emergency departments available for those who need them most during the strikes.

If you need medical help or advice, or you are unsure about whether you should go to hospital, go to NHS 111 online unless it is a life-threatening emergency when you should still call 999. GP services and pharmacies are also available for patients and can be accessed in the normal way.

Dr Lara Alloway, joint chief medical officer for the Hampshire and Isle of Wight Integrated Care Board said: “We are asking you to help your local NHS by taking simple steps during industrial action to look after yourselves, your loved ones and to check in on vulnerable family members and neighbours.

“No one should put off seeking urgent care in an emergency during the strike action, however we are urging people to only attend our Emergency Departments if it is a life-threatening situation.

“There are a number of alternative services including pharmacies, urgent treatment centres (UTCs), Healthier Together and 111 online. By using one of these alternative services, it allows our teams in our emergency departments to attend to those patients who urgently need care and attention.

“If you have an appointment during the industrial action, then please continue to attend as planned unless you have been contacted to reschedule.

“We are working closely with our partners across the counties to plan, prepare and mitigate the potential impact and patient care remains our top priority. We are working hard to ensure that we continue to deliver the best level of care possible.”

Patients with appointments booked on strike days will be contacted by the NHS if their appointment needs to be rescheduled due to industrial action. If you have not been contacted, you should attend your appointment as planned.

Following a recent ruling by the High Court, employers can no longer use agency staff to fill in for striking workers during industrial action, which means some of the cover arrangements used during previous strikes will not be possible. However, the ruling does not apply to a hospital’s own ‘bank’ staff, and NHS Employers has provided guidance to trusts on this issue.

NHS England’s South East Medical Director, Vaughan Lewis, said: “Thank you to everyone for continuing to help us during the industrial action.

“Please continue to use NHS services responsibly as junior doctors strike for the fifth time.

“We are urging anyone with non-urgent care need to first seek help from NHS 111 online and only use 999 in a life-threatening emergency.”