NHS thanks staff and the public following junior doctor strikes

Text reads "NHS Cheshire and Merseyside"
Text reads "NHS Cheshire and Merseyside"

NHS Cheshire and Merseyside is thanking staff and the public for their support following the latest period of industrial action.

The longest walkout in NHS history ended this morning (Tuesday 9 January) at 7am, but the impact is expected to be felt for weeks to come as services in Cheshire and Merseyside navigate the most challenging time of year, with flu and Covid expected to continue rising during January, and cold weather adding to pressures on services.

Professor Rowan Pritchard-Jones, NHS Cheshire and Merseyside’s Medical Director, is reminding people that, while industrial action may have ended, winter pressures and the recent cold weather alert means that all care services continue to work under significant pressure.

Professor Pritchard-Jones said:

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“On behalf of the NHS in Cheshire and Merseyside, I want to wholeheartedly thank staff for their hard work and commitment, and the public for continuing to use NHS services appropriately during these times of pressure.

“Colleagues in all care settings have worked incredibly hard to keep people safe during the strikes, but that work doesn’t end today.

“The public have responded to our advice, and in doing so, helped to reduce the pressures on services during this difficult period.

“Although this period of industrial action has ended, winter pressures and the current cold weather means our care providers continue to be extremely busy.

“You should still call 999 or go to A&E in an emergency when someone is seriously ill or injured and their life is at risk. If you need urgent medical help and you’re not sure where to go, use NHS 111 online to get assessed and directed to the right place for you.

“Hospitals continue to work extremely hard to ensure all patients who are fit to return home can do so safely. If you have a loved who is ready to be discharged from hospital, you can help by helping to get them home as soon as practically possible.

“You can also help yourself to stay well by getting your vaccines when invited to, keeping active and making sure you’re stocked up on prescriptions at home.”

An amber cold health alert has been issued for the North West, with the drop in temperature posing a serious risk to health and likely to further impact the demands on care services across Cheshire and Merseyside.

Professor Pritchard- Jones added:

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“It’s really important to check in on the wellbeing of those most vulnerable to the cold. Cold weather can have a serious impact on health, with the risk of heart attacks, strokes, and chest infections increasing, particularly for older people and those with pre-existing health conditions.

“It’s important to try and heat the rooms where you spend most of your time, such as your living room or bedroom, if you have a pre-existing medical condition or are over the age of 65.”

The NHS 111 service is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. You can call, go online or use the NHS App to find out: 

  • Where to get help for your symptoms
  • How to find general health information and advice
  • Where to get an emergency supply of your prescribed medicine
  • How to get a repeat prescription
  • How to get an emergency dental appointment

If needed, NHS 111 can also arrange a call back from a nurse, doctor or paramedic or an appointment at the most appropriate local service including local pharmacies, urgent treatment centres, GP practices or A&E. 

More information about when to call 999 and when to go to A&E is available via the national NHS website. 

You can stay up to date with the UKHSA’s Cold Health Alerts here.