JUNIOR doctors and NHS consultants in Dorset are walking out today as the row over pay and working conditions continues.

The NHS in Dorset is asking people to be aware of possible changes in services as industrial action takes place today, tomorrow and Wednesday.

Both NHS consultants and junior doctors are going on strike on these dates and 'Christmas Day cover' will be provided - meaning emergency care will continue to be available during the strikes.

NHS Dorset says that, while hospital and community NHS services in Dorset will be making sure they have 'adequate' staffing levels on these dates, 'regrettably, some appointments and surgeries may be postponed maintaining the safety of patients.'

It says any patients affected will be contacted directly.

"Please assume your appointment is going ahead unless you are told otherwise," it stated.

"Please check your voicemail before attending your appointment, as we may leave a message if we are unable to reach you."

Dorset County Hospital said: "The consultants and junior doctors at Dorset County Hospital are vital for patient care and the running of our services.

"During industrial action, some medically-led activity will be postponed to ensure that we can provide safe emergency and inpatient care. You will hear directly from us if we have to rearrange your appointment - if you don't hear from us please attend as planned.

"During the periods of industrial action, we will be prioritising urgent care. We'll contact you if your appointment needs to be changed.

"Our top priority is making sure people are safe and well. No one should put off seeking urgent or emergency care, regardless of strike action, and people with serious, life-threatening conditions will continue to be seen in our emergency department."

The latest strikes, which will happen up and down the country, will mean 11 months of industrial action have now taken place across the NHS.

According to NHS England, more than a million hospital appointments have been impacted across the NHS.

It says a previous round of industrial action by consultants and junior doctors in September saw more than 120,000 hospital appointments disrupted nationally and around between 8,000 and 26,000 staff off per day due to industrial action.