Disruption expected at Wigan's hospitals as junior doctors and dentists prepare for 72-hour strike

Wigan’s NHS services are expected to be affected when junior doctors and dentists working in hospitals take industrial action next week.

They will go on strike for 72 hours, starting at 7am on Monday until 7am on Thursday, in a dispute over pay.

The NHS is asking people to use services wisely and attend appointments as planned, unless they are rearranged.

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Consultant cover will be in place to maintain safe patient care during this time, along with the normal number of nurses and allied health professionals.

Dr Francis Andrews, a consultant in emergency medicine and medical director in Bolton, on behalf of all acute medical directors for NHS Greater Manchester, said: "Junior doctors are a valued and essential part of our NHS workforce. We recognise the significant contribution they make across services in Greater Manchester as they care for patients and progress in their medical careers. We respect their right to take industrial action and hope a resolution will be found soon. Our priorities as always are patient safety and making sure people know where they can get appropriate healthcare from during strikes.

“Our message to the public is clear. People must come forward if they need urgent medical care, especially in emergency and life-threatening cases – when someone is seriously ill or injured, or their life is at risk.

“Whilst we are doing our best to minimise disruption, we are asking people to use NHS 111 online as the first port of call for health needs and continuing to only use 999 or the emergency department if it’s life-threatening.

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“Services are expected to be impacted across the whole healthcare system including hospitals, mental health services and primary care, as GP trainees are junior doctors. This may affect some appointments and clinics, but our message to the public is to please continue to attend your appointments unless you are contacted and told otherwise.

“We have been working with health and care partners across Greater Manchester to put in place plans to ensure we can deliver safe care for people who need it during this period of industrial action. Staff, where appropriate, will be redeployed, some appointments and services have been rescheduled and there has been an additional push to maximise hospital discharges.”