The NHS in Bolton will be prioritising emergency, urgent and critical care as junior doctors in England take part in a second wave of strikes.
The 96-hour full walkout will take place from 7am on Tuesday 11 April until 7am on Saturday 15 April, and means some routine appointments and procedures will be postponed.
Due to the industrial action following the long Easter weekend, which is always a busy period for health services, it’s anticipated the NHS in Bolton will face even greater challenges compared to recent industrial action events.
Rae Wheatcroft, Chief Operating Officer at Bolton NHS Foundation Trust, said:
Our priority during the four days of strikes will be to provide emergency services, alongside care and ongoing support for our inpatients.
“We have built on our plans from the junior doctor action in March, and our teams will ensure we continue to keep our sickest patients safe.
“We are immensely grateful to the public for their ongoing support by using the NHS appropriately, and we ask they continue to show kindness towards our staff who will be doing everything they can to look after our patients during this challenging period.
From Tuesday 11 – Saturday 15 April we'll be prioritising emergency, urgent and critical care as junior doctors take part in industrial action.
It means some routine appointments will be postponed.
Please continue to attend unless you're contacted directly to reschedule. pic.twitter.com/UZ6sjQGNjv
— Bolton NHS Foundation Trust (@boltonnhsft) April 5, 2023
To support the NHS over the Easter weekend and busy strike action period, people across Bolton are being asked to make sure they are choosing the right health services.
Patients should continue to attend any planned appointments unless they have been contacted directly to reschedule that appointment.
In the event of a life or limb threatening emergency people should call 999 or attend the Emergency Department.
If a relative or friend is due to be discharged from hospital and needs to be collected, help by bringing them home as early as possible. This will free-up beds for someone waiting to be admitted.
Ensure repeat prescriptions and regular medicines are fully stocked by ordering before the Easter weekend.
Those who need to be seen by a health professional face to face are being asked to go to 111.nhs.uk, which will help direct them to the most appropriate service for advice or treatment.
This system is in place to help ensure patients get the care they need as quickly and easily as possible.
However, the public should still dial 999 as normal in a medical emergency, when someone is seriously injured, or their life is at risk.
Dr Manisha Kumar, Chief Medical Officer at NHS Greater Manchester, said:
We want to help people to have fun and make the most of their Easter, while also being aware of the pressures that their local NHS will be facing over the weekend and the following week.
“We want to assure the public that if the unexpected does happen and someone becomes unwell, they can still get urgent help even if their normal GP or dental practice is closed.
“The advice is really simple for non-emergencies – go to 111.nhs.uk if you need any kind of urgent medical treatment over the weekend.
“In the event of a life or limb threatening emergency people should call 999 or attend accident and emergency services.
Other ways to contact NHS 111 include calling 18001 111 using text relay, 24 hours a day.
British sign language (BSL) users can use the NHS 111 video interpreter service by going to www.signvideo.co.uk/nhs111
For help in other languages, please call 111 and ask for an interpreter.