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December 12, 2023

How you can support your NHS during industrial action in January

  • Junior doctor industrial action planned for Wednesday 3 January – Tuesday 9 January 2024
  • Bolton NHS Foundation Trust issues advice for public to support local health services

The British Medical Association (BMA) has announced junior doctors are to take part in industrial action after the traditionally busy New Year period.

Junior doctors will strike across six consecutive days, starting at 7am on Wednesday 3 January and finishing at 7am on Tuesday 9 January 2024.

Ensuring the safe delivery of care

Bolton NHS Foundation Trust is warning the strikes will have a significant impact on its services during this time, as teams prioritise the delivery of emergency care to keep the sickest patients safe.

To help us manage pressures during the strike action, many routine appointments and procedures will be postponed. We will contact you directly if your appointment has been postponed, and if you haven’t heard from us, please attend your appointment as normal.

Dr. Sophie Kimber Craig, Associate Medical Director at Bolton NHS Foundation Trust, said:

We’re approaching what is already one of the busiest times of the year for us and there is no doubt that this level of planned strike action will create an even greater strain on many of our services.

“We recognise there will be significant disruption, but we have tried and tested plans in place and our staff will be doing everything they can to provide essential and emergency care.

Associate Medical Director, Sophie Kimber Craig, stood in the entrance of a theatre room wearing her scrubs

“To make sure we can prioritise delivering care to those who need it most, we also really need the support of communities across Bolton.

“As we always are, we’ll be here for you in emergencies, but if your condition isn’t urgent please consider using alternative services, such as your GP, pharmacist, or NHS 111 online, as they may be able to provide you with care and treatment sooner.

“I would like to take this opportunity to thank people across Bolton for their ongoing patience and understanding, and please remember to show kindness and respect to our staff as they work incredibly hard over this festive period to keep us all safe.

Accessing NHS services during strike action

Throughout this challenging period, our urgent and emergency services are still here to help those who need it.

If your condition is not an emergency or life or limb threatening, please consider using a different service for your care:

– NHS 111 is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week either online or by phone
– Make an appointment with your local GP
– Visit your local pharmacy

The Be The Difference Bolton website has information to help you choose the right NHS service for your health need.

The While You Wait website also has lots of helpful information on staying well whilst you wait for treatment.

Patients who would like urgent mental health support can access it free, 24/7, by calling 0800 953 0285.

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