Junior doctors across Hertfordshire and West Essex are set to strike next week, causing disruption at a number of hospitals including Stevenage's Lister.

The strike will begin at 7am on Wednesday, June 14, before ending at 7am on Saturday, June 17.

Disruption is also expected before and after the strike, with only one-third of doctors expected to be working during the period of industrial action.


The NHS Hertfordshire and West Essex Integrated Care Board (ICB) has reminded residents to only use the emergency departments at Stevenage's Lister Hospital, Harlow's Princess Alexandra Hospital and Watford General Hospital if they "need treatment for a very serious illness or injury".

The Comet: Patients have been reminded to only attend A&E in an emergency.Patients have been reminded to only attend A&E in an emergency. (Image: Peter O'Connor on Creative Commons)

Patients are advised to attend pre-booked appointments as scheduled, unless they have been contacted beforehand.

The NHS Hertfordshire & West Essex ICB's chief executive, Dr Jane Halpin, commented: "The junior doctors’ strike will present many challenges to patients, our hospitals, and some of our GP practices too.

"With only around one third of all doctors expected to be working, hospitals will not be able to run as normal and services will be working under immense pressure over several days.

“Even with the careful planning that is taking place, both routine and emergency care are likely to be significantly affected.


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"In order to prioritise life-saving emergency treatment for people who need it, hospitals will postpone some non-urgent operations, treatments and routine appointments.

"Where this is the case, patients will be contacted directly.

"This is really unfortunate for those whose treatment is delayed, but with the majority of doctors not working, remaining staff must cover the essential care patients need.

“During the last strike action in April, some people came to A&E with symptoms that should have been seen and treated elsewhere.

The Comet: Dr Jane Halpin, chief executive of the West Essex & Hertfordshire ICB.Dr Jane Halpin, chief executive of the West Essex & Hertfordshire ICB. (Image: Supplied)

"A&E is always for serious injuries and life-threatening emergencies only, so in a genuine medical emergency always call 999.

"There are many sources of advice about when to call 999, including on the NHS website.

"If you come to A&E with a minor condition or illness during the strike, you are likely to face a very long wait.

"If you call 999 for an ambulance when you don’t need one, you could endanger the life of another person in desperate need of emergency care.

The Comet: Patients have been asked to attend pre-booked appointments unless advised otherwise.Patients have been asked to attend pre-booked appointments unless advised otherwise. (Image: East & North Herts NHS Trust)

"NHS 111 is there 24 hours a day if you or a family member are unwell and need urgent medical help or advice on where to go.

"We have more staff in the NHS 111 service to cover this challenging week, so please use 111 online or by phone if you cannot manage symptoms yourself at home.

“I would like to thank everyone for their understanding and support at this challenging time.”