Junior doctors are set to go on strike this week across East Lancashire.
The junior doctors of the British Medical Association (BMA) trade union will strike from 8am tomorrow until 8am on Wednesday, but will continue to staff emergency care.
However, full strikes will be held from 8am to 5pm on Tuesday, December 8th, and Wednesday, December 16th.
East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust which runs Royal Blackburn Hospital, Burnley General Hospital, and community hospitals in Accrington, Pendle and Clitheroe, said it had plans in place to deal with the planned industrial action and is working closely with the local Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs).
The row centres on a new contract being imposed by Jeremy Hunt, the Health Secretary, in which junior doctors will carry out more out-of-hours shifts for less money.
Dr Ian Stanley, Deputy Medical Director at the Trust, said: “Patients in need of urgent and emergency care will continue to receive the treatment they need, when they need it.
“However, due to increased pressures on the Trust over this period, those in less urgent need of care may experience longer waiting times than normal and some elective operations will need to be postponed or rearranged – these patients are being contacted now and we apologise for the inconvenience this will cause.
“However, in all cases, priority will be given to those with the most pressing health needs to ensure that we can continue to provide safe, personal and effective care to all our patients.
“We have also been assured by our local CCGs that the strike will have no impact on routine GP appointments or primary healthcare services so we would once again remind people to only come to A&E if it is a medical emergency.”