Information for the public on Industrial action

The NHS in Bath and North East Somerset, Swindon and Wiltshire is working hard to keep people safe during the planned strikes, while delivering the best care possible.

The ambulance services’ next planned industrial action is on Monday 23 January.

RCN members in England and Wales will strike again for 12 hours on both Monday 6 and Tuesday 7 February 2023. In BSW these strikes will be taking place at Salisbury Foundation Trust,  Great Western Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and Royal United Hospitals Bath NHS Foundation Trust.

Many parts of the NHS are likely to feel the impact of the industrial action, either directly or indirectly, and people are being urged to use ambulance services responsibly.

Where the situation is not life-threatening, alternative support will be available through NHS 111 online or through calling NHS 111, and where possible, it is advised that you arrange alternative transport.

Regardless of any strike action taking place it is really important that patients who need urgent medical care continue to use services as normal, especially in emergency and life-threatening cases – when someone is seriously ill or injured, or their life is at risk.

GP services are not impacted by this strike action. Please continue to attend your GP appointments, unless you are contacted and told otherwise.

On days where there is strike action, patients are being encouraged to only call 999 if it is a medical or mental health emergency – when someone is seriously ill or injured and their life is at risk.

There will be fewer ambulances on the roads during industrial action, with the NHS prioritising those with life-threatening needs. As a result patients whose conditions are not life-threatening are unlikely to get an ambulance on strike days.

During strike days, it is likely 999 call handlers will be very busy. NHS 111 call centres will have fewer staff, with longer call response times expected across the system. As a result, we are urging anyone with non-urgent care need to first seek help from NHS 111 online.

Where the situation is not life-threatening, alternative support will be available through NHS 111 online or through the NHS 111 helpline.

Commenting on the ambulance strikes NHS Medical Director Professor Sir Stephen Powis said:

“As  with other ambulance strikes the message to patients remains that it is vital to come forward and seek emergency care if needed.

“This includes calling 999 for life threatening emergencies as well as using 111 online for other health needs where you will receive clinical advice on the best next steps to take.

“People should also continue to use local services such as pharmacies and general practice as they normally would which aren’t impacted by strike action.”

More information:

Information on the South Western Ambulance Service website: Ambulance Service issues renewed appeal ahead of Monday’s industrial action

 

The NHS.UK website has more information on when to call 999 and when to go to A&E.

 

Frequently Asked Questions