Operations delayed at the James Paget University Hospital despite doctors strike cancellation

The James Paget University Hospital at Gorleston. Picture: James Bass

The James Paget University Hospital at Gorleston. Picture: James Bass - Credit: Eastern Daily Press © 2011

Operations and out-patient clinics were postponed at Gorleston's James Paget University Hospital this week despite a 24-hour strike by junior doctors being called off.

The British Medical Association agreed to suspend the walk-out following a last-minute breakthrough in talks.

But patients at the hospital had already been notified and had their procedures re-scheduled.

The first walk out was due to begin at 8am on Tuesday but a decision to call it off came on Monday night.

Director of operations Sue Watkinson at the JPH said senior managers and clinicians across the trust had been working to ensure it could continue to provide a safe service for patients as soon as it heard of the planned strike.

'We have tried and tested plans for dealing with a range of disruptions, including industrial action,' she said.

In a statement issued before the strike was called off she said: 'Our plans are based on ensuring that we can continue to deliver emergency and urgent care for patients. As such, our A and E department and emergency procedures are functioning as usual so that patients in need of urgent or emergency care continue to receive the treatment they need, when they need it.

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'Some elective operations and out-patient clinics have been postponed; affected patients were notified last week and most have now been re-scheduled.

'Today gives us a timely opportunity to remind people of the full range of health care options available to them. If people are unwell and it is not an emergency, they should visit their GP, pharmacist, call NHS 111 or use the NHS Choices website at www.nhs.uk

'Our planning is continuing to ensure that, again, we have the right levels of staff to maintain urgent and emergency care during the two further days of strike action planned for 8 and 16 December.'

The hospital employs just over 140 junior doctors, in a staff of more than 3000.

Two other walkouts planned for December were also called off as talks continue to secure a permanent deal.