The NHS enters its tenth month of strike action this September, which will have a significant impact on services in Greater Manchester.
Consultants, Junior Doctors, and dental trainees will take further strike action this month. For the first time in NHS history, Junior doctors and Consultants are also taking industrial action on the same day (20 September), so it is vital that the public continue to use services wisely.
The industrial action will see 96 hours of continuous strikes, starting with consultants striking from 07:00 AM on Tuesday, 19 September to 07:00 AM on Thursday, 21 September and junior doctors striking from 07:00 AM on Wednesday 20 September to 07:00 AM on Saturday 23 September. This means both groups will strike together on Wednesday, 20 September.
NHS hospitals across Greater Manchester are expected to be severely impacted by these strikes, and the public are being advised that there will significant disruption to services.
As with previous periods of strike action, we have tried and tested plans in place to mitigate risks to patient safety and manage any disruption, including industrial action.
We will continue to do everything we can to go ahead with planned procedures – especially for patients in greatest clinical need – and will contact patients if an appointment needs to be rescheduled. Patients should attend their appointment as planned if they have not been contacted.
Where to get help from? Get to know where to go:
We will only reschedule appointments and procedures where necessary and will rebook immediately, where possible. Unfortunately, these strikes will have a significant impact upon planned and routine care.
If you have an appointment with us, please attend unless you hear from us. There is no need to check – we will be in touch with your directly if we need to rearrange your appointment.
We continue to welcome family members and loved ones to visit patients at our hospitals, please see our visiting information.
Where to go for mental health crisis support
If you or someone you know experiences a mental health crisis, or needs urgent mental health support, please consider one of the alternative mental health crisis services which are available.
24/7 Mental Health Crisis Helpline
A free 24/7 helpline run by GMMH is also available to help anyone who feels their mental health is beginning to suffer.
If you live in Bolton, Salford, Trafford, Manchester, or Wigan, and experiencing a mental health crisis, you can reach out to the GMMH helpline at any time, day or night, by calling freephone 0800 953 0285.
Community spaces across Greater Manchester known as ‘Crisis Cafés’ or ‘Listening Lounges’ offer a safe, comfortable, and confidential environment for anyone over the age of 18, who is feeling low, anxious, struggling with negative thoughts, or just wants to talk to someone during evenings or weekends.
The spaces offer support and advice from trained mental health workers in a relaxed environment, providing visitors with safe out of hours mental health support, whilst also taking pressure off emergency services, including busy A&E Departments, especially during the winter months.
The hubs are delivered by voluntary community and social enterprise partners supported by Greater Manchester Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust (GMMH) and, they are based in six locations across Greater Manchester – Bolton, Manchester City Centre, Harpurhey, Salford, Trafford, and Wigan.
An individual who previously accessed support at one of the Crisis Cafés said, the team were “calming and reassuring” and finding the service was “just what I needed at just the right time.”
Locations, opening times, and contact details for the Crisis Cafés and Listening Lounges in Greater Manchester are as follows:
Bolton Listening Lounge
You can find us at YMCA BOLTON, 125 Deansgate, Bolton, BL1 1HA.
Open: Monday to Sunday, 3pm to 10pm.
Contact: Please call or email ahead of visiting. 01204 917739 or l firstname.lastname@example.org.
Harpurhey – No.93 Crisis Café
No.93 Harpurhey Wellbeing Centre, 93 Church Lane, Manchester M9 5BG
Open: Monday to Friday, 8pm to 1am, Saturday and Sunday, 3pm to 1am
Contact: Please phone ahead of dropping in, call 07778012838 or 0161 271 0339, or email GMMHCrisisCafe@gmmh.nhs.uk
Manchester City Centre – Recovery Lounge, in partnership with Turning Point
Open: Monday to Friday, 5pm to 12am, Saturday and Sunday, 3pm to 12am
Contact: Call 0161 238 5249 from midday onwards until 12am, every day.
Salford Listening Lounge
Open: 24-hours a day, every day, and referrals for Salford residents can be made by health care professionals. More details here.
Trafford – Bluesci at Night Crisis Café, in partnership with Bluesci
Old Trafford Resource Centre, 54-56 Seymour Grove, Manchester M16 0LN
Open: Monday to Friday, 7pm to 2am, Saturday and Sunday, 5pm to 2am
Contact: Text or call 07933 882743, or email email@example.com
Wigan – Mental Health Support Hub
Lea Baker Café at Atherleigh Park, Atherleigh Way, Leigh WN7 1YN
Open: Monday to Sunday, 4.30pm until 11pm
Contact: If you are a Wigan service user, please contact your care co-ordinator or call Atherleigh Park reception on 01942 636 300 to check availability.
The Mental Health Joint Response Car
In addition, a mental health joint response car service will also be providing support across Bolton, Salford, Manchester, Trafford, and Wigan.
The mental health joint response car is jointly run by GMMH and Greater Manchester Police (GMP), the response car service helps to support people experiencing a crisis who come into contact with GMP whilst also reducing the number of people presenting to emergency services at busy times, by providing specialist mental health support with a clinician attending incidents alongside the police.
If there’s an immediate risk of danger to life, you should ring 999.
The NHS is urging members of the public to use NHS 111 Online for all non-emergency healthcare needs, in the first instance, unless the issue concerns a child under 5, when they should call 111. Deaf people or people with hearing loss can dial 18001 111 on a textphone or use the Relay UK app (which can be downloaded from Apple’s App Store or Google Play Store).
NHS 111 Online can help if:
You need help but don’t know who to call,
How to find general health information and advice,
You are ill and need to be told what to do next, and
How to get an emergency supply of your prescribed medicine.
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.
We have a number of self-help resources on our website which you may also find useful.
GP practices will continue to be open during the junior doctors and consultants strikes. Please continue to attend your GP and dental appointments, unless you are contacted and told otherwise.