Cancelled surgery patients will all receive letter from Northampton General Hospital this week

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Patients with an operation planned for December 1 at NGH should assume their operation is going ahead unless they receive a letter this week.

Junior doctors at NGH are only covering emergencies for 24 hours beginning at 8am on Tuesday December 1 because of a dispute with the Government over new contracts

The hospital has warned that it will have limited service - which the county NHS has likened to Christmas Day levels - and some non-emergency operations have been axed.

But the hospital has said patients will be informed if they are affected and should not need to call and check.

Chief Executive Dr Sonia Swart said: “Our priority during the industrial action is to keep our patients safe and so our focus will be on those departments and wards where patients have the greatest need of care.

“This means that we have taken the decision to cancel some appointments and we are sending letters by first class post to affected patients.

“Anyone who has had an appointment cancelled will receive a letter this week.

“If you have a scheduled appointment or procedure planned for 1 December, you should assume it is going ahead as normal if you do not receive a letter from us.”

On the day itself, patients who need emergency treatment will be seen and treated as quickly as possible.

However, those in less urgent need of care may have to wait longer than normal.

- Anyone with a minor injury or illness, or who is not sure where to go for treatment, should call NHS111 for advice.

Pharmacists are also able to give highly-qualified advice with little or no waiting.