Ipswich/Suffolk: Operations cancelled as doctors strike

HEALTH bosses have cancelled all non-emergency surgery at Ipswich Hospital tomorrow, as doctors prepare to take part in industrial action – the first for 40 years.

The Heath Road trust has said it is unsure how many clinicians will be taking part as the British Medical Association call for members to provide only emergency care in a row over reform of their pension scheme.

A spokeswoman for Ipswich Hospital said it has taken precautionary measures to ensure it is able to cover any emergencies.

She said: “The safety of our patients is our top priority.

“We are working very closely with consultant and clinical staff and their union representatives to understand and manage the impact that the forthcoming strike may have on patients.

“This includes cancelling operations and procedures in advance so that we are assured that there will be enough doctors available to deal with emergency patients and emergency situations.”

The spokeswoman said staff at the hospital are contacting all those patients who are affected, but stressed, if you have an appointment for tomorrow and have not been notified to the contrary, you should still attend.

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Meanwhile NHS Suffolk said 22 out of 68 GP practices will be taking part.

Sadie Parker, NHS Suffolk’s head of primary care said: “Plans are in place to ensure patient safety and quality of care is not compromised on Thursday.”

She urged anyone in need of seeing their GP urgently contact their practice as normal.

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