Patients warned of further disruption during upcoming strike by consultants

Funding of health services

Industrial action by the most senior doctors working in the NHS is likely to cause significant disruption to services in Bath and North East Somerset, Swindon and Wiltshire.

Consultants at the Royal United Hospital in Bath, the Great Western Hospital in Swindon and Salisbury District Hospital are due to take part in a national 48-hour walkout, starting at 7am on Thursday 20 July.

The two-day strike, which will end at 7am on Saturday 22 July, comes at a very challenging time for the local NHS, with the region’s hospitals having just emerged from five days of continuous industrial action by junior doctors.

Hospital consultants are senior doctors and while a large part of their role involves caring and treating patients, they are also responsible for providing support, supervision and guidance to junior doctors and other staff.

This week’s strike will involve consultants providing a level of service similar to that of Christmas Day, which means emergency care will be provided, but routine appointments and pre-planned operations will be severely impacted.

Dr Amanda Webb, Chief Medical Officer, Bath and North East Somerset, Swindon and Wiltshire Integrated Care Board, said: “This planned strike by hospital consultants is the first of its kind, and the full ramifications of its impact remain to be seen, which is why public support is so very important.

“All local services are feeling the pressure right now, especially those which provide urgent and emergency care, so we need people to show support by always choosing the healthcare option that is most appropriate for their needs.

“NHS 111 online is the best place to go when looking for quick healthcare advice, as the digital platform can provide information based on a person’s specific symptoms, while also suggesting possible treatment plans.

“Where necessary, the service can also refer people straight to other nearby healthcare options, such as GP practices and pharmacies, both of which will be open as usual, albeit busier than usual, during the industrial action.”

Patients due in hospital on either of the strike days are advised to attend as normal, unless told otherwise, with those whose appointments are affected being contacted directly with details of alternative arrangements.

People expected to be away from home during the strike, such as those taking a holiday in the UK, should ensure they have travelled with a full supply of any prescribed medicine.

If, for any reason, additional medication is needed, people should contact their home practice, and ask for their prescription to be sent to the pharmacy closest to their current location.

Following the strike by consultants, the Society of Radiographers has announced 48 hours of strike action across 40 hospital trusts between 8am on Tuesday 25 and 8am on Thursday 27 July.

As well as affecting the region’s larger hospitals, the impact of this period of industrial action is also likely to be felt at smaller community hospitals, urgent treatment centres and minor injuries units

For further information about local health and care services, including those that can be accessed on the day, visit