Published on: 22 February 2024

People are being asked to think before they head to an A&E or call 999 as the NHS across South Tyneside and Sunderland prepares for the next strike action by junior doctors.

The British Medical Association (BMA) members are due to stage the 10th round of industrial action. It will start from 7am on Saturday, February 24, and run until midnight on Wednesday, February 28.

South Tyneside and Sunderland NHS Foundation Trust has made plans to ensure safe levels of care will be available at its hospitals, but has called on its communities to help support its services by only using emergency care when really needed.

Dr Sean Fenwick is its Deputy Chief Executive and its Director of Operations. He is also co-chair of the regional urgent and emergency care network. 

Across the North East and North Cumbria, the NHS has said it is likely people will face delays and disruption to services during the action.

Dr Fenwick said:

"We want to make sure our emergency teams are able to help patients who are most in need.

"Those who are seriously hurt or unwell are our priority, so anyone else might face a long wait and they might still be asked to go elsewhere if it’s not the right place for their treatment.

“Teams in our trust have been working to prepare for this latest strike since we were informed of the plans.

"We have had to reschedule some appointments, but unless you’ve heard otherwise, please still come in for your visit.

"GP surgeries and pharmacies will still be open as usual. NHS 111 Online is available around the clock and can help put you in the right direction for the care you need or advice you need to feel well again or treat a minor injury."

NHS 111 Online offers a symptom checker and can guide people to the service they need, while self-care advice is available online from the NHS at

Anyone needing urgent mental health support should seek it via their local Crisis Team. People can put their postcode in here to find its contact information.
Pharmacy services and opening times can be found by visiting NHS Find a Pharmacy.