Media Release

An open letter to our local community, our patients, and their families

To our local community, our patients, and their families.

As Easter approaches, we are preparing for Industrial action by junior doctors in the days that immediately follow (Tuesday 11 to Saturday 15 April) the bank holiday weekend. We are asking everyone in our local communities to help us help you and ensure you are prepared when it comes to your medical needs.

As ever, we are here for you if you are feeling unwell and you should continue to come to hospital if you need us. However, to support us, and ensure that everyone who needs our help this Easter can receive it as quickly as possible we are asking you to make sure you pick the right service for you.

Check your prescription medicines now. Make sure you and your loved ones have enough supply of any prescribed medicines to last you over this period. If your medication will run out over the bank holiday, consider whether you need to place an order now.

Help get your loved one’s home for Easter by being ready to support hospital discharges when we call. A few hours can make all the difference.

Think NHS 111 first. For anything which feels urgent, or if you don’t know what to do, visit or call 111 and you will be directed to the most appropriate service. Trained NHS advisors can provide health advice, connect you to a healthcare professional, arrange a face-to-face appointment including home visits and out of hours appointments, or give you an arrival time if you need to go to your local emergency department.

If you need urgent mental health help, call 111 and choose the mental health option.

Remember self-care. Many common ailments can be treated at home with a well-stocked first aid kit. Heartburn and hangovers for example can be treated at home with a well-stocked medicine cabinet.

Visit your local pharmacy. Many pharmacies are open over bank holidays and can offer expert advice on common conditions such as colds, sore throats and rashes. Check pharmacy Easter opening hours in advance –

In case of emergency. Only call 999 or attend emergency departments for serious accidents and for genuine emergencies, like chest pain, breathing difficulties, signs of a stroke or bleeding that won’t stop. Please do not delay in calling if you need this type of help.

Check in on family members, friends, neighbours to ensure people remain well at home.

Thank you for continuing to support our hard-working staff and volunteers as they work to keep patients safe over the coming days.

Best wishes,

Alice Webster, Chief Executive


For further information, please contact Communications Team, or 01553 613216.

To download the press release, click here.