20,000 public sector workers in borough strike as hospitals and schools hit

Doncaster Royal Infirmary.
Doncaster Royal Infirmary.

AROUND 20,000 public sector workers across Doncaster have gone on strike today in protest over changes to their pensions.

Workers across the borough are to unite for a 24 hour walkout as part of planned day of action nationally.

At least two million union members are expected to take part in the industrial action in protest to changes to their pensions.

HospitalS and schools across Doncaster are set to be disrupted.

A number of Doncaster Council services are due to be disrupted - with more than 100 schools announcing they expect to be closed.

All non-urgent clinics and admissions have been cancelled at Doncaster hospitals as well. Officials say they will be concentrating on emergency services and care of cancer patients

The NHS has published its plans for the day, which will see family doctors’ surgeries open as usual and emergency services provided by A&E staff at Doncaster Royal Infirmary.

But the trust says it will be running a bank holiday-type service on the day, with most outpatient appointments and non-urgent admissions being cancelled.

The main priority will be to maintain an emergency and trauma service and ensure cancer patients are not disadvantaged.

The trust will contact patients if their appointment or admission is affected.

Ron Calvert, chief executive of the Doncaster and Bassetlaw Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, said: “We accept staff have a right to strike but we have asked them to consider the needs of patients.

“This is a national issue but, regrettably, has a local impact. We apologise to patients and visitors for the inconvenience caused by cancelling all non-urgent clinics and admissions.

“Patient safety is our highest priority and will be maintained.”

The Dearne Valley Dental Access Centre, based at Montagu Hospital, which provides access to emergency dental care, is expected to be open as normal. The service is by appointment only - call 0845 155 0845.

Doncaster’s 8am to 8pm health centre will operate its normal opening hours from its new base at The Flying Scotsman Centre, close to the railway station in St Sepulchre Gate West.

Registered and unregistered patients can use the service either as a walk-in and wait to be seen, or by pre-booking an appointment by calling 01302 645 544.

Rotherham Doncaster and South Humber NHS Foundation Trust, which provides a range of mental health, learning disability substance misuse and community services across Doncaster, is also expecting to run a weekend or bank holiday type service on the day.

For more information on council services call 01302 736000 or visit www.doncastergov.uk

Passengers flying to and from Doncaster’s Robin Hood Airport could face delays at border control.