Industrial Action Update

August 9, 2023

Changes are being made to local NHS services as a result of industrial action by Junior Doctor members of the British Medical Association in the coming days.

Cheltenham’s A&E will switch to a Minor Injury and Illness Unit from 8am on Thursday 10 August to 8pm on the same day. Cheltenham’s A&E/MIIU will then temporarily close from 8pm on Thursday 10 August to 8am on Tuesday 15 August. 

Emergency care services (A&E) will be centralised at Gloucestershire Royal Hospital 24/7 during this period.

The public are strongly advised to only attend A&E at Gloucestershire Royal Hospital if their condition is serious or life-threatening. Please use other services such as in the first instance or call NHS 111.

GP practices and other Community Minor Injury and Illness Units across the county will continue to provide services.  

Whilst we are finalising plans to keep essential services available, the latest round of scheduled strikes will pose substantial challenges, particularly in the county’s hospitals, and the impact will be felt for well over a week.

Our highest priority will be to care for those in most immediate and urgent need and safeguard patient care.

The temporary changes (above) announced today will again help NHS services to prepare for industrial action and enable available emergency care staff to come together at Gloucestershire Royal Hospital to keep services safe.

We are urging local people to only access A&E in Gloucester or call 999 if their condition is life threatening or very serious.

Patients who have a planned hospital operation, outpatient clinic or procedure between Friday 11 August and Tuesday 15 August should attend hospital as usual unless they hear from their NHS Trust to advise otherwise. However, given the need to ensure safe staffing arrangements in emergency care and other critical services many appointments will need to be rearranged.

There will be no disruption to patient visiting arrangements on these days. However, we are asking relatives and carers to do everything they can to work with our staff to get their loved ones home from hospital as quickly and as safely as possible, with additional support, if necessary, from local NHS community services or adult social care teams.

Additional information – getting healthcare advice and the BMA Consultants’ industrial action

Many parts of the NHS – hospitals, community services and GP practices – are likely to feel the impact of the industrial action – either directly or indirectly – so local people are being urged to use services responsibly.

If people have an urgent care need, but are not sure which service to use, they are asked to visit in the first instance or call 111 for advice. The 111 phone service can book people into local NHS services if required, but is likely to see an increase in calls.

111 online and the local ASAP Glos NHS website and app can provide information on the services provided by Community Pharmacies, GP surgeries, including the Gloucester Health Access Centre, Community Minor Injury and Illness Units and A&E.

A number of Community Hospital Minor Injury and Illness Units across the county will be open on the days – 8am to 8pm. Local people can check on the best Unit to meet their needs and book an appointment by calling the local MIIU line: 0300 421 7777 or 111.

The latest on the day service updates and advice will be available through local NHS social media channels and websites.

Further public information about the industrial action, including FAQs, has been published by NHS England and can be found here.

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