Use our services wisely but continue to come forward in an emergency and attend appointments unless you hear otherwise – that’s the message from St George’s, Epsom and St Helier Hospitals and Health Group ahead of the junior doctor strikes next week.

Members of the British Medical Association (BMA) and the Hospital Consultants and Specialists Association (HCSA), the trade unions for doctors in the UK, will be taking part in a nationwide 72-hour strike between 7am on Monday and 7am on Thursday.

This industrial action will affect services – including postponing of some appointments, operations and procedures – at St George’s Hospital, Tooting, Queen Mary’s Hospital, Roehampton, and Epsom and St Helier hospitals. But it’s still important people continue to come forward for urgent medical care, especially in an emergency and in life-threatening cases.

Any planned care that is postponed will help the hospitals safely manage the impact of the strike and enable staff to continue to provide emergency care. Anyone affected will be contacted, and people should continue to attend appointments as planned, unless they are told otherwise.

Dr Richard Jennings, Chief Medical Officer for St George’s, Epsom and St Helier Hospitals and Health Group, said: “We are always here for those who need care, and I cannot stress enough how important it is for patients to come forward if they have an emergency or a life-threatening condition.

“That said, I must caution that services across all of our hospitals will be affected – and I’d encourage members of the public to use our services wisely, so that we can ensure care is available to those who need it most.”

For people who need care where it’s not an emergency, NHS 111 online should be the first port of call. NHS 111 can quickly advise where to go and what to do next.

Local pharmacies may also be able to help, and can provide advice on minor health concerns from skin rashes to earaches and flu. Many pharmacies stay open late and no appointment is needed.

As with hospital appointments, people who have GP appointments should attend these as planned, unless contacted and told otherwise. You can contact your GP surgery for appointments about illnesses or injuries that won’t go away.

More information on the strikes is available on the NHS website. You should always call 999 or go to an emergency department if it’s life-threatening – find out more on when to call 999 and when to go to A&E.

Notes to editors

St George’s, Epsom and St Helier University Hospitals and Health Group will share any important updates on its websites, and