NHS Cheshire and Merseyside is thanking staff and the public for their support following the recent strikes.

The longest walk-out in NHS history ended this morning, Tuesday, after six days.

The industrial action, which hit both Warrington and Halton Hospital, saw junior doctors walk out in a dispute over pay.

The NHS says the impact from the strikes is expected to be felt for weeks to come as services in the region navigate the ‘most challenging’ time of year, with flu and Covid expected to continue rising during January.

Professor Rowan Pritchard-Jones, NHS Cheshire and Merseyside’s medical director, is reminding people that, while industrial action may have ended, winter pressures and the recent cold weather alert means that all care services continue to work under significant pressure.

He said: “On behalf of the NHS in Cheshire and Merseyside, I want to wholeheartedly thank staff for their hard work and commitment, and the public for continuing to use NHS services appropriately during these times of pressure.

“Colleagues in all care settings have worked incredibly hard to keep people safe during the strikes, but that work doesn’t end today.

“The public have responded to our advice, and in doing so, helped to reduce the pressures on services during this difficult period.

“Although this period of industrial action has ended, winter pressures and the current cold weather means our care providers continue to be extremely busy.”

People are still being advised to call 999 or go to A&E in an emergency when someone is seriously ill or injured or their life is at risk.

With the recent cold weather, Professor Pritchard-Jones is also advising people to check in on the wellbeing of those most vulnerable to the cold.

He added: “Cold weather can have a serious impact on health, with the risk of heart attacks, strokes, and chest infections increasing, particularly for older people and those with pre-existing health conditions.

“It’s important to try and heat the rooms where you spend most of your time, such as your living room or bedroom, if you have a pre-existing medical condition or are over the age of 65.”

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 A&E.