Northwick Park Hospital in Harrow is preparing for a challenging Easter bank holiday weekend, coinciding with a four-day junior doctors’ strike scheduled to start on April 11.
The hospital is urging patients to prepare by ensuring they have their relevant prescriptions and checking their medicine cabinets ahead of time.
During the strike, hospitals across the UK, including Northwick Park in Harrow, are expected to face significant pressure, with rescheduled procedures and longer waiting times in emergency departments.
Junior doctors make up almost half of all NHS doctors and play a vital role in providing care for patients.
Dr Jon Baker, Chief Medical Officer for London North West University Healthcare, acknowledged the difficulty of the situation, saying, “The bank holiday is a traditionally busy time, so it is going to be tough. We’re asking patients not to come into hospital unless it is essential.”
Dr Baker also highlighted the importance of keeping services safe, which means rescheduling planned operations and appointments.
He apologized for any inconvenience this may cause, saying, “We’re really sorry if that’s affected you or someone in your family, and will rearrange your visit as soon as we can.”
While hospitals will do their best to minimize disruption, patients are urged to consider alternative options, such as their local pharmacy team, who are capable of treating many minor conditions typically seen in A&E.
Despite the challenges, Dr Baker expressed support for the junior doctors’ right to strike, saying, “We respect our junior colleagues’ right to strike and hope the two parties can come to an agreement to prevent further strike action.”
Northwick Park Hospital will be holding the fort during the strike but is asking for patience from patients, as the impact is expected to be far greater than during the first strike. If patients need advice, they are encouraged to visit 111.nhs.