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09 February 2016
On days during strike action, the hospital has announced that whilst many hospital services will be unaffected, some non-urgent planned operations and appointments may have to be re-arranged in order to ensure vital urgent care services are delivered safely.
* The Trust is advising that all patients who have a planned operation on a day with strike action will be phoned by the hospital (with as much notice as possible) to inform them whether or not their operation will go ahead.
* Patients with other appointments, such as diagnostic and outpatient appointments, will only be contacted if their appointment needs to be cancelled, otherwise they should attend as planned.
* If any patient is unsure whether their operation or other appointments will be going ahead on any of the strike days, or they would like to check, they can contact the number on their hospital letter.
Karen Ward, Bedford Hospital Chief Operating Officer, said: “We have tried and tested plans to deal with a range of disruptions, including industrial action, and over the last week we have been working closely with our commissioners and other partners to refine our contingency plans in order to minimise disruption to our services, whilst protecting the safety and welfare of our patients.
“Our priority first and foremost during any disruption is to protect our vital emergency and urgent care services.
“Over the course of the planned strike action, we will continue to keep local residents, our patients and their families, closely informed of the situation.”
The hospital has also issued a reminder to local residents about using A&E services wisely over the next few weeks. Ms Ward added: “As always, we would like to remind local residents to consider alternatives first, such as pharmacists, GP surgeries and the NHS 111 service.
“Choosing the right service for your needs helps us to focus our attention on the most seriously unwell patients and can also save you time.”