James Street Family Practice in Louth joins doctors strike on June 21

THE JAMES Street Family Practice in Louth is joining the doctors strike on Thursday June 21 over pensions.

This is the first time in almost 40 years that doctors are taking industrial action.

Practice Manager Jackie Rotherham said: “We are taking this step reluctantly because the government is pushing through unnecessary, wholesale changes to the NHS pension scheme. On the day, patient safety will be our absolute priority – doctors will be in their usual places of work and all urgent and emergency care will be provided.

“Doctors at James Street recognise how important their services are to people in a rural area, and also how difficult it is becoming to recruit new doctors into rural General Practice.

“We want to ensure that GP pensions are affordable for us and society – remembering that the NHS pension scheme currently generates money for the taxpayer, to the tune of £2 billion each year.

“The present scheme – which the government wants to change – is tested and shown to be affordable.

“Although we are angry at the government tearing up the previous agreement which was supposed to last ‘for the foreseeable future’, we know that patients are not to blame.

“This is why we will continue to look after our patients even during the day of action, dealing with urgent and emergency problems on the day as we always do.

“Anyone who calls will get to speak to a doctor, and a decision will be made whether action is needed on the day, or if it can safely be postponed to a normal working day.”

Dr Mowat will be in the practice that morning and will be available to talk to any patients that have concerns.