KNUTSFORD residents have been warned of disruption to hospital services ahead of the first joint junior doctor and consultant strike.

It has been announced both junior doctors and consultants in England will be taking industrial action at the same time next week, with Cheshire East hospitals set to be affected.

Hospital consultants will begin a 48-hour strike from 7am on September 19, ending at 7am on September 21, while junior doctors will strike from 7am on September 20 until 7am on September 23.

During the joint strike action on Wednesday, September 20, junior doctors and consultants will provide what is known as 'Christmas Day' cover, meaning emergency services will remain.

As a result, significant service disruption is highly likely at Knutsford hospital, as well as all other sites, including Macclesfield and Congleton hospitals.

Dr John Hunter, medical director for East Cheshire NHS Trust said: “Wednesday, September 20, is the first day we will see consultant and junior doctors strike at the same time.

“Due to the unprecedented position we find ourselves in, the trust is planning to step down non-urgent care in order to prioritise patients who require emergency treatment. 

“Planned and routine appointments will be rescheduled where necessary. If we have not contacted you, please attend your appointment as planned.”

The NHS is asking patients to ‘choose services appropriately during industrial action’ and take simple steps to help ensure care is available to patients who need it most.

This includes using 111 online as the first port of call for health needs, and only using 999 if it is a life-threatening emergency.