Bosses at NGH have been forced to cancel more than 400 appointments as junior doctors go on strike from 8am this morning (Wednesday).
Industrial action by junior doctors will take place for 48 hours, from 8am Wednesday March 9 until 8am Friday March 11. During this time, junior doctors will provide cover for emergencies only.
Because the hospital has to prioritise emergencies, some appointments have had to be cancelled.
A spokeswoman for NGH said: “The majority of appointments at the hospital will go ahead.
“However, we have taken the decision to cancel some appointments and less urgent operations and we have sent letters by first class post to affected patients.
“If you have a scheduled appointment or procedure planned for Wednesday or Thursday, you should assume it is going ahead as normal if you do not receive a letter from us.”
A total of 421 appointments have been cancelled over the 48-hour period: 66 inpatient and day patient appointments (operations and procedures) and 355 outpatients appointments.
Anyone needing emergency treatment will be seen and treated “as quickly as possible”.
However, people 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, is asked to call NHS111 for advice.
If industrial action is called off hospital managers will reinstate some of the cancelled appointments.
Feedback from patients has made clear that many people would prefer to come in for their original appointment even at very short notice.
However, that won’t be practical for all appointments because of the degree of preparation involved in some cases.
The spokeswoman said: “It’s really important that patients who receive cancellation letters follow the instructions given in their letter about what to do if the industrial action is called off.
“If anyone is still unclear after reading their letter, they should contact the department or clinic direct using the number provided in their letter.”