Strikes planned by junior doctors and the ambulance service over pay "are very likely to have an impact on the services provided at our hospitals", the East and North Hertfordshire NHS Trust has warned.

The British Medical Association is holding a 72-hour walk out of all junior doctors in England from 7am on March 13 to 7am on March 16.

Meanwhile, ambulance service strikes across the country - including by our East of England Ambulance Service - are set to take place on March 20.

A first day of action by ambulance service staff had been planned for Wednesday (March 8), however this has been suspended after trade union UNISON entered pay talks with the government.


UNISON's head of health, Sara Gorton, said she hoped the "talks can be meaningful", or "UNISON will be forced to resume strike action".

A spokesperson for the East and North Hertfordshire NHS Trust, which runs Lister Hospital in Stevenage, the New QEII Hospital in Welwyn Garden City and Mount Vernon Cancer Centre in Northwood, said: "There are a number of planned days of industrial action which are very likely to have an impact on the services provided at our hospitals."

The trust warned that patients' scheduled appointments and procedures may need to be postponed.

"We understand this news will be both disappointing and worrying if you are awaiting treatment, and we sincerely apologise for any inconvenience caused," the spokesperson said. "We will reschedule your appointment as soon as possible.

"If you don’t hear from us, please attend your appointment or procedure as scheduled."


The NHS trust has "strong contingency plans" in place, the spokesperson advised, and is working with its healthcare partners "to ensure essential services continue to function".

He said: "Our main priority during the strikes is to ensure patients receive emergency or life-saving care when needed.

"Regardless of any action taking place, it is vitally important you seek urgent care immediately if you need it."

Ambulances will still be able to respond to emergencies, but this may only be where there is an immediate risk to life, the trust's spokesperson explained, adding that anyone with a non-urgent care need is advised to first seek help from NHS 111 online