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'World class emergency care' during junior doctors' strike, says consultant

Published 26/04/2016

Dr Philip Lee wrote that he wanted to reassure the public about the strike
Dr Philip Lee wrote that he wanted to reassure the public about the strike

Patients should be reassured that they will get "world class emergency care" during the junior doctors' strike, a consultant has said, as he wrote an open note to patients across the country.

Philip Lee, a consultant specialising in acute medicine and elderly care, posted on Facebook that emergency care across England will be "no worse, if not better, than an average day".

Dr Lee, who works at Chelsea and Westminster Hospital in London, said the consultant workforce is "100% behind" junior colleagues who are striking to "ensure patients get the best and safest care, not a stretched-out, underfunded, dangerous service".

The post, which has been shared by more than 120,000 people, contains a picture of Dr Lee, who wrote that he wanted to reassure the public about the strike.

"Putting aside the reasons they're striking for a second, let me now say categorically, you and your friends and loved ones will continue to get world class emergency care those days," he wrote.

"If you come to the emergency department having been run over by a car, we'll be there waiting for you.

"If you're already in hospital, you'll still be seen by a consultant or staff specialist if you need to. If you need an emergency operation, it will happen.

"If your loved ones are in intensive care, doctors will see them as usual.

"If you should have a sudden cardiac arrest in our hospital, my colleagues and I will do our very best to resuscitate you, stabilise you, and treat you just like any other day.

"If your clinic or test appointment or operation has been rescheduled or delayed, I apologise. But these strikes are happening to ensure patients get the best and safest care, not a stretched-out, underfunded, dangerous service.

"The emergency service on those days will be no worse, if not better, than an average day. The Department of Health has said none of this.

"As doctors, we have all sworn an oath to do no harm. Our junior colleagues will not have taken this action lightly, and they do so with a heavy heart but knowing that as consultants, and my staff grade and associate specialist colleagues, we're 100% behind them. Our support let them protest the changes to our NHS that is not safe for patient care.

"On the 26th and 27th of April, if you're ill, please see your GP, or come to hospital. We will be there for you, just like every day. And if you're not ill and walking or driving by, give my friends a honk, or a friendly word. These brave men and women need your support."

Dr Lee told the Press Association he never expected so many people to share his post, adding: "It is nice to see such a passionate response from the public."

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