The NHS in Bradford District and Craven is encouraging individuals to plan ahead for their healthcare requirements as the region prepares for an anticipated surge in demand for health and care services.

Consultants within the NHS will engage in a strike on Thursday 24 and Friday 25 August, and this is likely to have a considerable impact on services, causing disruptions to scheduled appointments during this period.

Subsequently, the August bank holiday will occur on Monday 28 August, making it crucial for everyone to be well-prepared and knowledgeable about obtaining assistance if necessary during this time.

Throughout this phase, the NHS is urging anyone in need of medical attention to continue seeking care through the usual channels: attending scheduled appointments unless instructed otherwise, consulting NHS 111 for guidance on appropriate services, or dialling 999 or heading to the nearest Accident & Emergency (A&E) department if someone is severely ill, injured, or in a life-threatening condition.

“We continue to see high numbers of people seeking treatment at our emergency departments. The planned industrial action followed by the bank holiday weekend could potentially mean that patients attending A&E with less urgent conditions experience longer waits. As is always the case, priority will be given to those attending with the most urgent or life-threatening conditions”, explains Dr Sandy Lukats, Emergency Department Clinical Director at Airedale NHS Foundation Trust on behalf of Bradford District and Craven Health and Care Partnership.

“As well as using NHS 111, general practice or local pharmacies, members of the public can help to avoid undue pressures on busy Emergency Departments by planning ahead: making sure that they have an adequate supply of all regular medications or medical equipment that may be needed and having a well-stocked first aid kit and medicine cabinet for more minor injuries and illnesses.

“If people have frail, elderly or less able relatives or friends, it’s helpful to check that they also have all the medication they need during this period.”

Arrange any repeat prescriptions necessary for the bank holidays through your GP practice or by using the NHS App, which also permits changes to your designated pharmacy. Some pharmacies may also be open during the bank holiday; you can identify an accessible pharmacy near you by visiting the NHS website.

Additionally, it may be prudent to keep a small supply of basic medicines for minor ailments or injuries at home. Such items could include paracetamol, adhesive bandages, indigestion remedies, and anti-diarrhoeal medication. The NHS website offers guidance on the contents of a first aid kit, or you can consult your local pharmacist for recommendations.

For mental health support during this period, Guide-Line is available between 8 am and 12 am at 08001 884 884, and assistance can also be accessed via the Healthy Minds website. In situations requiring urgent mental health crisis support around the clock, individuals should reach out to First Response at 08009521181.