Patients are being asked to use NHS services “wisely” ahead of strike action planned for this week.

Junior doctors in hospitals across the country are expected to walk out over issues with patient safety and pay.

Doctors are urging patients to consider how they use services to avoid putting undue pressure on practices.

Dr Dinesh Sinha, chief medical officer for NHS Sussex, said: “Patient safety is our absolute priority, and health and care partners are working together to ensure essential urgent and emergency care services will be available so that patients can continue to access vital medical attention when they need it most.

“We are asking patients to help NHS staff during the three days and use services wisely. Only use emergency departments and 999 for life-threatening illnesses or injuries to ensure care is available to patients who need it most. If it is not an emergency, use NHS 111 online as the first port of call for help, advice and support.

“We do expect there to be an impact on some appointments and clinics but ask patients to continue to attend planned appointments unless you hear directly from the NHS to make new arrangements.


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“We thank the public for their support and we are also incredibly grateful to all of the health and care staff across Sussex for their hard work and dedication.”

Patients are being urged not to go to emergency departments unless they are suffering from a life-threatening illness or injury and instead to use 111 as a first port of call.

Pharmacies, walk-in centres, minor injury units and urgent treatment centres will continue to be available.

Planned action by ambulance workers was recently called off after unions entered into further talks with bosses.

NHS nurses have staged a number of walkouts amid mounting pressure on services.

Emergency doctors and nurses previously reported patients being treated and dying in the corridors of departments.

Junior doctors will strike from Monday, March 14, to Wednesday, March 16.