Industrial action and NHS services
NHS leaders are urging local people ahead of next week’s industrial action to only access A&E or 999 if their condition is life-threatening or very serious.
Monday 6 February - Royal College of Nursing (RCN) and GMB Ambulance Service Workers
Tuesday 7 February - Royal College of Nursing (RCN)
Thursday 9 February - Chartered Society of Physiotherapy (CSP)
The coordinated industrial action on Monday 6 February includes RCN members at Gloucestershire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (Gloucestershire Royal and Cheltenham General Hospitals) it also includes GMB union members at South Western Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust.
On Tuesday 7 February, industrial action involves RCN members at Gloucestershire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.
On Thursday 9 February, members of the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy (CSP) will take industrial action at Gloucestershire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and Gloucestershire Health and Care NHS Foundation Trust.
Whilst the NHS locally is making plans to minimise disruption as far as they can, they have warned that the strike will pose substantial challenges after the weekend to both emergency care and planned care services. The highest priority will be to care for those in most immediate and urgent need.
However, patients who have a planned hospital operation, procedure or outpatient appointment on Monday, Tuesday or Thursday should attend as usual unless they hear from their NHS Trust to advise otherwise.
On Monday, life threatening calls and other very serious conditions that may require urgent assessment will continue to be responded to, but other calls will have to be prioritised accordingly with longer waits expected.
NHS leaders have warned that local NHS services, including hospitals, are already under significant pressure due in large part to a rise in seasonal illness, COVID-19 and related staffing pressures.
Ahead of the industrial action, local people are being urged in the strongest possible terms to keep 999 and A&E clear for life-threatening conditions and serious injuries.
One Gloucestershire health and care partners are working to free up as much bed and ward capacity as possible and to ensure the best possible arrangements are in place to receive ambulances and support patients to leave the hospital when medically fit in the coming days.
This is however against the backdrop of a recent rise in seasonal illness and sick patients who need specialist care. Many of these patients will have complex needs.
Gloucestershire’s NHS Trusts are also working to provide as much planned care - operations, procedures and outpatients appointments - as possible, but the local NHS has said that some services will need to be rearranged.
The Trusts are asking relatives and carers to do everything they can to work with their staff to get their loved ones home from the hospital as quickly and as safely as possible with additional support, if necessary, from local NHS community services or adult social care teams.
One Gloucestershire health and care partners are working closely together to ensure those in greatest need continue to have access to high quality care.Chief Medical Officer at NHS Gloucestershire, Dr Andy Seymour
He continues "However, we need to be very clear that the coming days are going to be very challenging for those providing care and we are going to need the public’s continuing support as well.
If it’s not a life threatening condition or a serious injury, we are urging people to think very carefully about their healthcare options and get advice when needed from NHS 111 and ASAP Glos NHS. Advice will also be available through local NHS social media channels.
We would like to take the opportunity to thank the great majority of local people who continue to access services responsibly and are following the advice offered by the local NHS.”