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Guidance for patients: Upcoming junior doctor strike: 3-9 January

Posted on: 3 January 2024

Junior doctors and dental trainees are taking strike action between Wednesday 3 January and Tuesday 9 January. Read on for guidance during this time.

During these strikes, other doctors (including consultants and other specialist doctors) will still be working. The NHS is working hard to ensure adequate staffing through all urgent care pathways, urgent elective cases, and other critical services. However, the disruption to staffing will cause a significant reduction in elective activity and this may mean some appointments and procedures may need to be rescheduled. 

Appointments and procedures will only be rescheduled where necessary and they will be rebooked immediately, where possible. 

If you have not been contacted, please attend your appointment as planned. The NHS will contact you if your appointment needs to be rescheduled due to the strike action.

You are asked to choose services appropriately during industrial action and take simple steps to help ensure care is available to those who need it most. This includes using 111 online as the first port of call for health needs, and only using 999 if it is a life-threatening emergency.

You should take advice from 111/999 call-handlers on whether there are circumstances where it is suitable for them to make their own way to the hospital. During strike days, it is likely that 999 call handlers will be busy. 111 call centres will have fewer staff, with longer call response times expected across the system. As a result, anyone with non-urgent care needs to first seek help from NHS 111 online.

GP practices will continue to be open during the junior doctors’ strike. You should continue to attend GP and dental appointments unless you are contacted and told otherwise.

For more information on when to call 999 and when to go to A&E, you can visit the NHS UK website.


The advice if you're travelling to other areas during the strike is to:

  • Make sure you have ordered and collected any repeat medicines, especially if you are travelling
  • Your first port of call is your GP practice, which will be able to provide online, phone and video consultations as well as arrange for prescriptions to be sent to any pharmacy you choose.