First junior doctor strike in four months prompts fresh calls for public support

doctor consulting patient

Ahead of the next round of strikes by junior doctors, people living in Bath and North East Somerset, Swindon and Wiltshire are being reminded of how their support can make a real difference during what is expected to be a busy time for the local NHS.

Junior doctors at the Royal United Hospital in Bath, the Great Western Hospital in Swindon and Salisbury District Hospital are expected to down tools for five days across the end of this month and the beginning of July.

The five-day walkout, which is due to begin at 7am on Thursday 27 June and run until the same time on Tuesday 2 July, will be the first episode of industrial action by junior doctors since February.

Healthcare leaders across the region are currently working to minimise disruption for patients during the strikes, and are now calling on members of the public to show the same level of support that was seen during previous rounds of industrial action.

Gill May, Chief Nurse, Bath and North East Somerset, Swindon and Wiltshire Integrated Care Board, said: “Although we are no longer in the depths of winter, all periods of prolonged industrial action within the NHS are real causes for concern, and this one especially so, due to it coinciding with this year’s Glastonbury.

“Our hospitals throughout the five-day walkout, as well as in the days immediately after, are expected to be extremely busy, with our teams doing their utmost to keep services running so that people requiring urgent care can get the help they desperately need.

“Local people can support us in achieving this difficult task by only visiting hospital or calling 999 in genuine, life-threatening emergencies and by seeking help for minor illnesses and injuries from the many other services that will be open as usual during the strikes.”

While all GP practices in the region will remain open, some surgeries may be busier than usual, which is why people requiring help for issues that cannot wait should seek guidance from either a community pharmacy of the NHS 111 service.

Both options can provide people with advice on symptoms, possible treatment options and, where appropriate, directions to other in-person NHS services.

People can find details of their nearest pharmacy, including opening hours, via the Find a Pharmacy function on the NHS website at

Any person with a confirmed hospital appointment for any of the strike days will be contacted at the earliest opportunity if their consultation or procedure needs to be postponed.

Those who are not contacted are asked to attend as usual and not to phone ahead to check the status of an appointment, as booking teams are likely to be very busy supporting those whose plans have had to be changed.

Throughout any period of industrial action, people experiencing a life-threatening emergency, such as chest pains, severe bleeding or loss of consciousness, should not put off attending the nearest hospital or calling 999.

Further information about all local health and care services can be found on the ICB website at