19th June 2012
PATIENTS across South Yorkshire are being advised not to assume that their family doctor’s practice will be closed on Thursday June 21, as no South Yorkshire practice normally open on that day will be closed as a result of the British Medical Association’s day of action.*
However, due to the day of action, some practices will be offering a slightly altered service, and therefore patients who need their Doctor, or are due to visit their GP on Thursday, are being advised to first check with their practice how their services are being affected.
Where GPs are taking part in the industrial action they will still be providing patients with urgent and emergency care on the 21st. In some practices this may be all of the GPs, in others only some of the GPs will be taking part and the others will be working normally. Any patient who believes they need to see their GP urgently will be able to do so according to the normal Thursday opening hours of their practice.
GP surgeries that are normally open will remain open and fully staffed, and the action affects only doctors, so other routine clinics run by other healthcare professionals, such as nurses and midwives, are likely to be operating as normal.
Karen Curran, South Yorkshire NHS’ Primary Care Lead said: “Our message is please check with your practice first to see what is planned for the day. We believe the majority of practices will be operating business as usual, but patient safety is our number one priority and therefore practices not operating as usual will still be providing urgent and emergency care. It’s important that patients know this, and don’t turn up to local hospitals for care that would be best treated by their GP.
“Some routine work such as authorising repeat prescriptions may not take place on the day, so please contact your practice before 21 June if your medication is running low. There are also other options for patients to get non-urgent health advice, such as from local high street pharmacists or by telephone from NHS Direct on 0845 4647.”
*Practices that usually close on a Thursday afternoon, will continue to do so, but this is not related to the action. There are also a small number of practices in Rotherham who are holding an education and training event on the same date. They have been signed up to this months in advance of the day of action decision and will already have taken steps to advise their patients of any alterations to services on the day.
For information on services across Sheffield: