Health leaders appeal to public to choose the right services for their needs during current strike action


People in Bath and North East Somerset, Swindon and Wiltshire are being urged to choose the right services for their needs over the coming days as the local health and care system faces increased pressure due to industrial action by junior doctors.

The industrial action is taking place at the Royal United Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust in Bath, Great Western Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust in Swindon and Salisbury NHS Foundation Trust from today, Monday 13 March and is scheduled to continue for 72 hours until 06:59 on Thursday 16 March.

Members of the public are being asked to help by using services wisely and taking simple steps to help ensure that care is available to those patients who really need it most.

This includes using 111 online as the first port of call for health needs, or for advice on which service to use and continuing to only use 999 if it is a life-threatening emergency, when someone is seriously ill or injured and their life is at risk.

People with hospital appointments should continue to come forward for the care they need and do not need to call to check if appointments are going ahead. If appointments do need to be rearranged, patients will be contacted directly.

Regardless of any strike action taking place, it is really important that patients who need urgent medical care continue to come forward as normal, especially in emergency and life-threatening cases.

Dr Amanda Webb, Chief Medical Officer at Bath and North East Somerset, Swindon and Wiltshire Integrated Care Board said:

“Health services across Bath and North East Somerset, Swindon and Wiltshire will be under increased pressure over the next few days because of the disruption caused by industrial action.

“We are appealing to the public to support the NHS by using services sensibly, using 111 online and keeping 999 and our Accident and Emergency departments clear for genuine life-threatening emergencies.

“Despite these pressures, it is important that no one should be put off seeking urgent or emergency care and people with serious, life-threatening conditions should continue to come forwards for help.”