Leeds patients warned over NHS walk-out

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Hundreds of patients in Leeds are being warned of disruption as NHS workers walk-out in a nationwide dispute over pay.

Staff including nurses, midwives, porters and ambulance crews will strike for four hours until 11am on Monday, followed by action short of strike for the rest of the week.

The move comes after Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt rejected a recommendation for a one per cent pay rise for NHS staff.

Hospital bosses in Leeds said essential services would be maintained but warned routine care would be hit.

Ambulance chiefs are warning response times for some 999 calls could be hit. They have cancelled patient transport services for non-urgent hospital appointments.

Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust said essential services among them emergency and urgent surgery and medical care, A&E, all cancer treatments, and all emergency maternity services including antenatal visits and urgent screening would continue as normal on Monday morning.

“As part of our plans to ensure we continue to deliver the safest possible care to our patients, we will be rearranging routine surgery and outpatient clinics that would normally have occurred during this four-hour period,” said a spokeswoman.

“Over the coming days we will be contacting patients in writing, by phone and by text to let them know if their appointment has been affected. If you are not contacted during this time, please assume your appointment will go ahead as usual.”

Yorkshire Ambulance Service said the 999 service would operate at a reduced level.

Its human resource and operations director, Ian Brandwood, said: “Although our focus is on ensuring attendance at the most serious and life-threatening 999 calls, we will have a reduced workforce and there is likely to be some disruption to the emergency service and our response could be extended.”

Deputy medical director David Macklin said: “We will be carrying out additional clinical assessment over the telephone using doctors and senior clinicians in our 999 emergency operations centres to prioritise those most in need. Members of the public can play a big part in ensuring that those who need an emergency ambulance response get one and it’s vital that people only call 999 for an ambulance when it is a life-threatening or serious illness or injury.”

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