Challenging start to the new year, warn local health leaders

Health leaders across Suffolk and north east Essex say the NHS is facing one of the most difficult starts to the new year.

Junior doctors in England will be taking strike action from 7am tomorrow (Wednesday, January 3) until 7am on Tuesday, January 9.

They’ve warned the impact will be very challenging for local services at a time that is traditionally one of the busiest weeks of the year.

Dr David Brandon, Deputy Medical Director at the Suffolk and North East Essex Integrated Care Board, said: “There are steps we can all take to make sure we use the most appropriate service for our needs and ensure that help can be prioritised to those who need it most.

“It is important that people who need medical care come forward, especially when someone has a life-threatening illness or injury.

“A range of services are available to ensure Emergency Departments (A&E) can continue to treat those with life-threatening and critical illnesses or injuries.

“Care for life-threatening or serious illness/injury will be prioritised.

“If you are unwell or injured, it’s important to choose the right service to make sure you get the best treatment as quickly as possible.”

The NHS Suffolk and North East Essex ICB has published a list of locally available services with contact details on its sneewellbeing website.

These have been advertised in the local East Anglian Daily Times, Clacton Gazette and Bury Free Press newspapers.

The ICB will continue to share messages through social media platforms and has asked its partners to assist by resharing its posts. 

Dr Brandon added: “Routine appointments may be rescheduled.

“However, if you have not been contacted by your local hospital or GP surgery, we would advise that you attend your appointment as planned. Please continue to check online for updates.”

“Please continue to support us by using the right health service to meet your needs.”