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National industrial action update 19 to 22 September: Consultants and Junior Doctors

Planned industrial action is due to take place involving Consultants on the 19 and 20 September, and junior doctors on the 20, 21 and 22 September.

Industrial action is a national dispute between the Government and Trades Unions about terms and conditions. We are committed to keeping patient and staff safety as our priority. We know that striking is an extremely difficult decision for colleagues to make and we respect the right of our consultants and junior doctors to take action.


What will be different?

This instance of industrial action will be different to previous ones due to two staff groups taking strike action at the same time for 24 hours. Consultants’ industrial action will commence at 7am on Tuesday 19 September and last until 7am on the Thursday, 21 September. Junior Doctors’ industrial action will commence at 7am on Wednesday 20 September and last until 7am Saturday 23 September. During the 24 hours that they’ll jointly will be undertaking straight action, the hospital will have Christmas Day level of cover for those staff groups.

Please be reassured that we are all working together to care for all of our patients and their loved ones. Please be patient and kind to our staff if you are finding yourself experiencing a wait for our services. We’ve been working very closely with the unions to try and keep as many of our services running as possible, but we know our patients may be impacted as a consequence of the strike. In order to ensure we can run services as effectively as possible:

  • It is possible that we will be postponing some outpatient activity and planned surgery during this period. This, of course, is not a decision we have taken lightly but in order to preserve life-saving care it is an action we have to take to get us through this period to enable us to focus on those patients who are already in our hospitals and those needing urgent and emergency care. We will be in touch with you directly if this is the case.

Please do not call us to check if your appointment has been postponed, we will be in touch with you directly if your appointment has been affected so we can rearrange another date.


What can I do to help?

Our Emergency Department (ED)

Please use our Emergency Department if you have a life-threatening emergency. Please be aware that our service, like the wider NHS and local health and care system, is very busy:

  • If you have a minor illness or minor injury, local GP surgeries and pharmacies are open.
  • If you have an urgent medical problem that isn’t an emergency contact 111 first by phone or online
  • The Urgent Treatment Centre at the Cumberland Centre in Devonport is open every day to treat you if you have an injury which isn’t life-threatening, but requires urgent treatment. Our Minor Injury Units at Tavistock and South Hams Hospital are also open everyday. You can find out more about our UTC and MIUs here.


Who do I speak to if I want to share a concern?

If you need help or support regarding our services, please speak to the relevant department or service in the first instance, or contact PALS for further support:


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