Teams from all corners of the local health and care system will be working together this week to ensure disruption to patients is kept to a minimum as junior doctors take an extended period of industrial action.
Local people can support the health service at this time by choosing the right service when seeking help and continuing to attend pre-planned appointments, unless told otherwise.
Junior doctors across the country will be participating in industrial action from approximately 7am on Tuesday 11 April until the morning of Saturday 15 April.
Sue Harriman, Chief Executive Officer, Bath and North East Somerset, Swindon and Wiltshire Integrated Care Board, said:
“The resilience and fortitude that I witnessed over the long bank holiday weekend has been nothing short of exceptional.
“The way in which our teams worked together – often with colleagues from other health and care organisations – against a backdrop of high demand and sustained pressure to ensure services could continue for those in need has been a real show of character and strength.
“Those same colleagues are now digging deep to respond to the challenges of this latest wave of industrial action, and I would like to not only offer my sincere thanks for all they are doing, but also ask the public to show support by continuing to use our services responsibly.”
The walkout by junior doctors is likely to cause disruption for many local health services, with waiting times for care and treatment expected to be longer than usual.
By choosing the right healthcare option when seeking help, people can reduce the level of demand felt by colleagues working in urgent and emergency care.
GP practices and pharmacies are open as usual, with the former able to help with longer-term, non-urgent issues, and the latter a great choice for people needing support with minor injuries and illnesses.
NHS 111 online can provide person-specific advice, information and treatment options, and can also, where appropriate, make referrals to other nearby services.
People with pre-booked hospital appointments for this week, as well as those with planned surgery, are advised to attend as normal, unless told otherwise.
Any person whose appointment is affected by the industrial action will be contacted at the earliest opportunity, meaning people do not need to call ahead to ask whether to come in.
The ICB’s Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages will be updated regularly with the latest news and information about the industrial action.
Details of all local health and care services can be found online at http://www.bsw.icb.nhs.uk.