MORE strikes are set to hit Warrington Hospital, both before and after Christmas.

The British Medical Association has announced a 72-hour walkout of junior doctors from 7am on Wednesday to 7am on Saturday.

This is to be quickly followed by a further six days of strike action, from Wednesday, January 3, to Tuesday, January 9.

Almost half of all doctors are junior doctors, they work in almost every part of a busy hospital.

This includes including A&E where they might diagnose you or put you under anaesthetic, write prescriptions, support the process of admission and discharge, maintain the flow of patients through the hospital and ensure beds are available for those who need them the most.

NHS Trusts across Cheshire and Merseyside, including Warrington and Halton Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (WHH), are set to be impacted.

Coming at the busiest time for the health service, significant service disruption is expected from a walkout of this scale.

Dr Paul Fitzsimmons, executive medical director at WHH, said: “The timing of these forthcoming rounds of industrial action will impact on our services, coming as they are in a period which is always demanding for the NHS.

“You should still call 999 or go to A&E in an emergency when someone is seriously ill or injured and their life is at risk. But if you need urgent medical help and you're not sure where to go, please use NHS 111 online to be assessed and directed to the right place for you.”

Dr Fitzsimmons also said how the trust’s focus will be on ensuring that critical care, emergency, and maternity departments and services remain open.

He added: “As always, our focus will be on ensuring critical care, emergency departments (accident and emergency) and maternity services remain open and that patients on our wards remain safe.

“We are also working hard with our partners to ensure all patients who are fit to return home for Christmas can do so safely. If you have a loved one who is ready to be discharged from hospital, you can assist by helping to get them home as soon as practically possible.

“We will continue to deliver planned care where possible, especially for patients in greatest clinical need, and patients should still attend any planned appointments unless contacted directly by the Trust to reschedule.”

The NHS is also advising people to plan for the coming weeks by ordering repeat prescriptions before pharmacies close for the holidays and encourages us all to look out for those who may be vulnerable to the colder conditions.

Information and advice on how to stay well this winter and details of local health and care services are available on the Warrington and Halton Teaching Hospitals website at

The trust’s website and social media accounts will be kept up to date with information about the impact of industrial action,

The NHS 111 service is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. You can call, go online or use the NHS App to find out:

•             Where to get help for your symptoms

•             How to find general health information and advice

•             Where to get an emergency supply of your prescribed medicine

•             How to get a repeat prescription

•             How to get an emergency dental appointment

If needed, NHS 111 can also arrange a call back from a nurse, doctor or paramedic or an appointment at the most appropriate local service including local pharmacies, urgent treatment centres, GP practices or accident and emergency departments.

More information about when to call 999 and when to go to A&E is available via the national NHS website.