Medical chiefs at King’s Mill Hospital say they are busy putting in a contingency plan if planned strikes of junior doctors go ahead.
Five-day walkouts by junior doctors are being planned in protest over the Government’s plans to introduce a new contract which would extend their working hours.
The first strike action is planned for the week starting September 12, and the British Medical Association (BMA) announced it is also proposing further industrial action in October, November and December.
Such is the unpopularity among junior doctors, the association says it had no other choice but to make the radical move.
King’s Mill Hospital’s executive medical director, Dr Andy Haynes said: “Patient safety and welfare are our priorities.
“Now that action has been confirmed we are beginning detailed work to assess the impact of five days of continuous action.
“We will look to redeploy consultant doctors to provide appropriate levels of cover for in-patient areas to ensure patients continue to receive safe, high-quality care.
“Over the coming days we should gain a better picture of the impact this will have on non-emergency services – for, example, planned surgery and out-patient clinics.
“Some disruption is likely, however, and we will be working to keep these at a minimum.
“We will give patients as much notice as possible where cancellations are unavoidable. We would also ask people to use community-based services, such as their pharmacy, GP or NHS 111 service when appropriate.”
If the strikes take place, the junior doctors will join the picket lines from 8am until 5pm for five continuous days.