A fifth of GPs offering emergency care only as doctors strike

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A fifth of GP surgeries will only see emergency patients and some routine hosptial appointments have been postponed as doctors’ strike today.

More than 20 per cent of GP surgeries are only offering emergency and urgent appointments as British Medical Association doctors strike for the first time in almost 40 years.

All urgent and emergency work at Kettering General Hospital will continue unchanged. Any routine work that is not taking place as a result of the action has been rescheduled and patients have been notified.

A spokesman for NHS Northamptonshire said: “All GP surgeries in Northamptonshire will be open and the majority will be providing a normal service. A small proportion will be providing urgent and emergency care only.

“Local hospitals and GP practices have informed patients in advance if routine appointments or operations have been cancelled. If in doubt, check your hospital, clinic or surgery website or contact their reception.

“The ambulance service will provide a normal service.”

Mr Mike Smeeton, director of strategy at Kettering General Hospital, said: “Most of our doctors will be working as normal and are committed to ensuring that our patients receive safe care at this difficult time.

“All patients affected have already been contacted.”

NHS Northamptonshire has advised ill people whose surgery is not offering the service they need to visit NHS Direct’s website www.nhs.uk/nhsdirect or call 0845 46 47 or visit a pharmacist.