Local NHS preparing for unprecedented disruption during upcoming industrial action

By Barrie Hudson - 15 September 2023


The NHS body serving the Swindon area is preparing for a what it terms unprecedented disruption due to doctors' strikes.

Junior doctors and consultants plan to take part in simultaneous strike action for the first time.

Consultants will be striking from 7am on Tuesday 19 until 7am on Thursday 21 September, while junior doctors will begin a period of industrial action from 7am on Wednesday 20 until 7am on Saturday 23 September.

NHS bosses say the simultaneous period of industrial action will see services disrupted throughout the week, but particularly on Wednesday 20 September when both junior doctors and consultants will be on strike.

During this time, hospitals will be providing a level of service similar to Christmas Day, which means routine appointments and operations are likely to be postponed and waiting times for urgent care longer than usual.

Local health service leaders are asking the public to support them during this period by collecting prescriptions early, attending appointments unless told otherwise and only using emergency care services in genuine, life-threatening situations to help limit disruption and ensure those most in need are prioritised for care.

Gill May, Chief Nurse at Bath and North East Somerset, Swindon and Wiltshire Integrated Care Board, said: “Services across BSW, particularly in our hospitals, are likely to be severely impacted by this forthcoming period of industrial action, especially on Wednesday 20 September when both junior doctors and consultants will be on strike.

“We are working closely with our health and care partners to ensure those in greatest need continue to have access to high-quality care and support.

“However, we cannot emphasise enough how important it will be to keep all of our emergency departments clear for life-threatening conditions and serious injuries.

“The public can also help us by thinking carefully about their healthcare options and getting advice when needed from NHS 111, the NHS website or their local community pharmacy.

“We would like to pass on our sincere thanks to the public for their ongoing support during this sustained programme of industrial action.”

Further information about health and care services in Bath and North East Somerset, Swindon and Wiltshire, along with details of local pharmacies, can be found at www.bswtogether.org.uk/yourhealth 


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