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Sign outside Emergency Department

Local NHS leaders are urging people to only attend A&E departments across the district with life-threatening emergencies as hospitals are under significant pressure due to the junior doctors’ industrial action this week.

If people attend A&E with non-urgent or emergency conditions they will be waiting significantly longer than usual.

Instead, they should visit or call 111, or contact their local GP or pharmacist.

The 72-hour industrial action, which is affecting hospitals across the country, began yesterday morning (13 March) and will run continuously until the day shift starts on Thursday morning (16 March).

Saj Azeb, Chief Operating Officer and Deputy Chief Executive at Braford Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, said: “The junior doctors’ industrial action has severely reduced the number of doctors we have in our hospitals, and this is especially so in A&E. That’s why we have to prioritise the clinically most urgent patients.

“People can really help us during this time by only using A&E services when absolutely necessary. There are many other ways to get healthcare advice and treatment which will be quicker and will help us care for those who need us most.”

Leanne Cooper, Chief Operating Officer at Airedale NHS Foundation Trust added: “We need the public’s help to only come to A&E if it is a genuine life/limb-threatening emergency so we can care for our sickest patients.

“If you do come with a non-urgent problem your wait time will be significantly longer and you could have got help from NHS 111, your GP or local pharmacist in the meantime.”