Warwick Hospital and South Warwickshire NHS Foundation Trust have put contingency plans into action to cope with the strike action being taken by junior doctors today.
Across the country the doctors have gone on strike in a dispute with the Government over a new contract.
Charles Ashton, Warwick Hospital’s medical director, said: “We are working with the British Medical Association to ensure that patient safety is not affected.
“On the days of the industrial action, consultants and other staff who are not taking industrial action will be working to ensure there is no impact on any of our emergency services.
“We may need to reduce some non-urgent outpatient appointments.
“The Trust will be contacting any patients affected by this directly.
“If you are unable to attend your appointment please contact the hospital as soon as possible so that this slot can be offered to another patient.”
And members of the union Unison will be using their breaks and lunchtimes to join their NHS colleagues on British Medical Association picket lines.
Many suspect the dispute over government plans to cut payments for night and weekend work is likely to be a dress rehearsal for what could happen should ministers turn their attention to the wider NHS workforce.
Health workers across the NHS are in support of the junior doctors’ refusal to accept changes to their unsocial hours payments that Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt MP has been attempting to impose, says Unison.
The union’s general secretary Dave Prentis said: “An NHS where the same high quality care is provided, regardless of the time of day or the day of the week, will not come cheap.
“But Jeremy Hunt thinks he can offer more to patients by paying dedicated healthcare professionals much less.
“Other NHS staff fear that the dispute with junior doctors could be the dry run for a much bigger confrontation.
“They suspect ministers also want to axe the unsocial hours payments that they get for working nights and weekends.
“Working additional night and weekend shifts has helped many health staff survive the government’s harsh and ongoing pay freeze.
“That’s why so many of them across England will be joining picket lines during their breaks and lunchtimes tomorrow to show the health secretary that, while everyone wants to see a seven day NHS, his approach to achieving it is completely wrong.”