Patients may be affected by doctors strike

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Doctors across the Western Isles are expected to take part in a 24 hour strike this Thursday.

This is following a dispute over national NHS changes to the pension scheme which and a decision by the British Medical Association (BMA) Council to take industrial action after a ballot of their members.

In response to this situation, NHS Western Isles can confirm that all emergency services and core clinical services will continue as normal. This includes cancer treatments, renal dialysis, emergency mental health and maternity services.

Senior Managers are liaising with the doctors on an individual basis to discuss what, if any, industrial action they plan to take. They will then agree the specific details around the level of service that can be safely planned for and provided.

NHS Western Isles say their priority and responsibility at all times is to ensure a safe service. Based on the information currently available to managers, they expect the majority of services in the Western Isles to run as scheduled but say should they receive any additional information that leads to a need to reschedule activity, patients will be notified and their appointments rescheduled as a matter of priority.

If patients have any queries or concerns at this stage please contact NHS Western Isles using the contact telephone number on the hospital appointment letter.

In terms of services provided by GP surgeries; all will be responding to urgent appointments and the majority will be running a normal for routine appointments. Please check with your individual practice for further information.

Gordon Jamieson, Chief Executive for NHS Western Isles said: “While we acknowledge the right of colleagues to take industrial action, we would like to reassure patients and the wider public that safe and effective care remains our priority and that there will be no disruption to emergency services. Should there be any disruption to planned appointments, patients will be contacted in advance to advise them of arrangements. Otherwise patients should attend appointments as planned.”