Emergencies only during strike

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PATIENTS in St Helens are being asked to avoid attending A&E due to strike action on Monday.

Staff at St Helens and Knowsley Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust will walk out for four hours between 7am and 11am on Monday October 13.

The Trust is asking people to consider carefully if they need to attend A&E during the hours of industrial action, but stressed it was working to keep disruption to a minimum.

A spokesman said: “The Trust is working closely with all staff, their union representatives, andother local NHS organisations to minimise any disruption to hospital services.

“All urgent and emergency care will continue to be provided. However, we ask patients to consider the seriousness of their condition prior to attending the Accident and Emergency department.

“While some non-urgent appointments have been re-scheduled, those patients affected have been contacted and will be seen as soon as possible. Patients who have been advised by their GP to come to the hospitals for a routine blood test are asked to attend after 11am.

“We apologise for any inconvenience caused by this national strike action.”

A dedicated telephone helpline will be in operation from 7am until 11am, on 0151 430 1111. Patients can also find out more by visiting the Trust website www.sthk.nhs.uk