PATIENTS in Hampshire are being asked to only attend A&E departments if necessary as junior doctors go on strike. 

Junior doctors from the British Medical Association (BMA) will take part in industrial action from 7am on Wednesday, January 3 to 7am on Tuesday, January 9 over disputes surrounding pay and conditions, marking the longest strike undertaken in the NHS’ history

Ahead of the strike, residents in Hampshire are being urged to only call 999 or attend the emergency department if it is a medical or mental health emergency and seek alternative services including calling 111, visiting a pharmacy, GP practice or urgent treatment centre.

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Residents are also being asked to help transport friends and family from hospital to free up space with services.

Lara Alloway, chief medical officer for Hampshire and Isle of Wight NHS Integrated Care Board, said: “Winter is always a busy time for the NHS, but with 2023 seeing health and social care under significant pressure throughout, your local NHS is asking residents to do what they can to protect services and look after themselves.

“If you have an appointment but haven’t otherwise heard from us, please continue to attend as planned. If we need to reschedule appointments, we will contact you. 

“Over the past few weeks, some of our hospitals and services have already had to take serious measures to cope with the number of patients they are seeing come forward and protect levels of patient safety.

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“This has at times meant that patients have had to wait longer than we would like or be redirected to different services. We would like to thank our communities for their patience and our staff for their dedication and hard work throughout. 

“Thank you for your ongoing support.”