CMO urges responsible use of services and sun safety ahead of strikes | News centre

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CMO urges responsible use of services and sun safety ahead of strikes

Industrial action graphic displaying the dates of industrial action 27 June 2024 to 02 July 2024

Surrey’s Joint Chief Medical Officer urges people to use services responsibly and stay safe in the sun, ahead of further industrial action

As junior doctors in Surrey get ready to take part in further strike action, Surrey’s NHS is encouraging people to use services responsibly, ahead of further disruption to services where the impact is expected to be exacerbated by the current spell of warm weather.

This comes as junior doctors from the British Medical Association (BMA) plan to strike for five consecutive days from 07:00 on Thursday 27th June 2024 until 07:00 on Tuesday 2nd July 2024.

The current warm weather, which is expected to last for the coming days, can lead to more people seeking urgent care for heat-related conditions so, ahead of the strike action, Surrey’s Joint Chief Medical Officer is reminding people to stay safe in the sun and urging people to help the local NHS by using the service they need, including making full use of local minor injury and walk-in centres if they do need urgent help.


Dr Charlotte Canniff, Joint Chief Medical Officer for Surrey Heartlands Health and Care Partnership and Surrey GP explains:

We have well-rehearsed plans in place to manage periods of disruption, working together across health and care organisations – but with the warmer weather we often see more people accessing services with heat-related conditions - so we expect the coming days to be challenging as work together to keep essential services running with fewer staff.

With junior doctors making up around half of all doctors, unfortunately we will again see some disruption to routine appointments and planned procedures as we prioritise urgent, emergency, trauma, maternity and critical care for those who need us most.

We fully support our junior doctors, whether they choose to participate in industrial action or not and we are again asking members of the public for their support in using services responsibly and appropriately, making full use of local walk-in centres and urgent treatment centres, to help us keep A&E and 999 for those who are critically unwell.


If people need to access health advice and treatment during this period of planned industrial action we are encouraging them to still come forward – and to use services appropriately:

  • People should continue to use pharmacies, GP practices, walk-in centres, the NHS App and NHS 111 online or by phone 24/7 for urgent health advice
  • People should only use 999 and A&E for serious or life-threatening conditions or medical emergencies (when someone is seriously ill or injured and their life is at risk).
  • If appointments or procedures have been affected by industrial action the local NHS will contact people directly to reschedule them as soon as possible. If people haven’t been contacted, they should attend appointments as usual.

With the current warm weather, we are also reminding people to stay well by drinking plenty of fluids, keeping out of the sun during the hottest part of the day, wearing cool clothing and using sun lotion with high UVA protection.

Over the coming days services are likely to be busier and waits may be longer so we are also asking people to be patient, as our frontline teams prioritise critical services and work hard to make sure people get the care they need Dr Canniff added.


There are Minor Injury Units, Urgent Treatment Centres and Walk-in Centres across Surrey. Full details of local services, and what they can treat, can be found on our website and people can use NHS 111 online or call 111 for advice 24/7 if they are not sure which service they need.

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