Health leaders’ call to use NHS services wisely during strike action


Local health leaders in Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire are urging people to use NHS services wisely during next week’s industrial action.

Junior doctors and consultants are due to stage walkouts from 7am on Monday 2 October to 7am on Thursday 5 October.

They will be joined by radiographers who will be taking strike action from 8am on Tuesday 3 October to 8am on Wednesday 4 October.

The NHS will prioritise emergency treatment, critical care, neonatal care, maternity and trauma care during this time, and people should continue to come forward if they need urgent or emergency care.

Similarly, people with hospital appointments should continue to attend unless contacted by the NHS.

However the strikes are expected to have a significant impact on the NHS and people are being urged to use services wisely, including contacting NHS 111 online for help with urgent, but non-emergency care requests.

Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire Integrated Care Board Chief Medical Officer Joanne Medhurst said:

“NHS services are going to be working really hard to keep important services open and running effectively to keep you and your family safe.

However we do know that planned care and outpatient appointments will be affected. You’ll be contacted if that affects you. If you don’t hear from the NHS, continue to attend for your appointment, wherever that might be.

Of course, general practices and community pharmacies will be open and you should continue to go to GP and dental appointments as normal.

You can help us by making sure you use services effectively and in particular only using emergency services when they’re genuinely required. You can use NHS 111 online as your first port of call for urgent help and only use 999 or A&E if it’s a genuine, life-threatening emergency.”

More information and guidance for local people on the industrial action, and which services to use, is available on our Industrial action information page.