Published on: 10 March 2023

Leaders at South Tyneside and Sunderland NHS Foundation Trust (STSFT) are asking for the public’s support as the Trust prepares for three days of industrial action and disruption to NHS services next week. 

Industrial action by British Medical Association (BMA) members will see junior doctors across the region go on strike for 72 hours from 7am Monday (13 March) to 7am Thursday (16 March).  

This is the longest single strike action affecting NHS services this year.  The public in South Tyneside and Sunderland are being advised that there will be disruption in frontline health services next week.

STSFT has been working hard ahead of the strike to understand the potential impact for local people and to put in place plans to ensure as little disruption for patients as possible.

The Trust is contacting patients directly if their appointment is affected by the strike action. Patients who have planned appointments at hospitals in South Tyneside and Sunderland next week should attend as normal unless they have received a text message or phone call from the Trust.

Emergency and urgent care services will remain open during the strike, however STSFT is appealing for help from the public to help ease the current extreme pressures on Emergency Departments in South Tyneside and Sunderland.  

Anyone who needs urgent care should use NHS111 online ( to be assessed and directed to the right care for them. If you do not have internet access then dial 111 for free from any phone. When someone is seriously ill or injured and their life is at risk, they should seek emergency care in the normal way, by calling 999.  Anyone needing urgent mental health support can get 24/7 access to their local crisis team via Mental Health Helpline for Urgent Help - NHS ( 

Dr Shaz Wahid, Medical Director at South Tyneside and Sunderland NHS Foundation Trust, said:  “We know that any disruption to patient care is frustrating and we have been working hard to minimise the impact of this.  Our essential services will be running as usual, but we do need to rearrange some non-urgent, routine appointments.   Patients with planned appointments next week should attend as normal unless they are contacted directly by the Trust.

“We need local people in South Tyneside and Sunderland to be aware of the huge pressures that the NHS will be under next week, even more so than normal. Our services will be very busy, so please support us and think of using your local pharmacy and NHS 111 if you need urgent help or advice.  We also ask everyone to be kind to our staff who continue to work under significant pressure.”