Teamwork, compassion and dedication are helping West Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust staff look after patients through a difficult week of British Medical Association (BMA) junior doctor strike action.
Staff from all areas of the Trust have pulled together, showing outstanding collaboration to support and care for both patients and each other.
Dr Ravi Ayyamuthu, Accident and Emergency Department Consultant and Deputy Medical Director at the Trust said: “As with the first round of BMA junior doctors’ strikes in March, my senior leadership colleagues and I have been blown away by the teamwork, compassion and dedication shown by our staff as they step in for their junior doctor colleagues while they exercise their legal right to take strike action. I know these periods represent a significant challenge for our colleagues, and I would like to say how proud we are of them.”
Dr Ayyamuthu continued: “I also know the impact of the strikes greatly affects our patients, both during these days and through the postponement of appointments and procedures. If you have not heard from us about your appointment or procedure on these days, then please come forward. For those who have had an appointment or procedure postponed, please know we are working very hard to rearrange these at the earliest opportunity.”
During this round of industrial action, consultants and surgeons have worked tirelessly while they cover for junior doctors and help support their colleagues to maintain patient safety. Additionally, other members of staff across the Trust, such as prescribing pharmacists, therapists and clinical nurse specialists are stepping into roles to help support the effort.
Two GPs have also come in to lend a hand to care for patients on the wards. Dr Melissa Williams who works at Glemsford Surgery, which is part of the Trust, has been one of the GPs working on our wards at the West Suffolk Hospital to support patient care.
She said: “Despite having not worked on a hospital ward for a long time, I thoroughly enjoyed my time covering for our junior doctors where I was warmly welcomed by a helpful and friendly team. While this period was challenging, I am proud to have contributed and cared for patients in a well-controlled environment that delivered safe care.”
During this period of strike action, the Trust’s Accident and Emergency department remains open for those that need it most. Dr Ayyamuthu said: “During these strike days, we ask the public to help us be there for those who need us most by using our services wisely. Please use your GP or NHS 111 for any minor injuries or illnesses or see your local pharmacist who can offer you a range of treatment options and expert advice. However, if you, or someone else requires urgent medical care, please attend our A&E department or telephone 999.”