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Consultants join junior doctors on picket line outside Bristol Royal Infirmary

Consultants have joined junior doctors on the picket line outside Bristol Royal Infirmary. Credit: Katie Rowlett/ITV News
Consultants and nurses have been filling emergency roles after junior doctors took industrial action for the fifth time during the dispute. Credit: Katie Rowlett/ITV News
The strike will finish at 5pm tonight. Credit: Katie Rowlett/ITV News

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Junior doctors on the picket line outside Cheltenham General Hospital

Junior doctors are continuing their all-out strike outside Cheltenham General Hospital. Credit: ITV News
The strike is affecting emergency care services, including maternity care and A&E. Credit: ITV News
Its the fifth time since the start of a dispute with the government over a new contract that the junior doctors have walked out. Credit: ITV News

"I was told to watch the news to see if the strikes went ahead" says patient

Sam Pearce has had to rearrange her appointment but supports the strike Credit: Sam Pearce

Sam Pearce from Nailsea says she wasn't happy with the advice she got:

"I'm due to have an appointment for general surgery for a cyst which got cancelled the first time then got given the appointment that was supposed to be today."

"But Southmead rang me on Thursday to say that my appointment may or may not be cancelled which confused me greatly, I asked her how I would find out if my appointment was still going ahead."

"I was told to watch the news and if the strikes went ahead then I wouldn't have an appointment but if they didn't go ahead then my appointment would remain the same."

"I felt a bit bemused by this and decided to rearrange the appointment myself because I couldn't take the day off work just to sit in and watch the news, now I have to wait till June for another appointment."

"Don't get me wrong I completely understand the strike action but thought it was rather unprofessional to tell me to watch the news to find out if my appointment was still available."

Southmead hospital were unable to confirm whether or not Sam received the above advice but a spokesperson says they're sorry for any inconvenience caused to patients.

This information was given on their website:

Due to the short-term nature of the cancellation we are contacting patients by phone to inform them of their cancellation and sincerely apologise for any inconvenience this may cause. Our aim is to reschedule any cancellations as quickly as possible.

If you do not hear from us and you are due to come into hospital on April 26 and 27 for an appointment or planned admission, please assume this is still going ahead.

In the event that the industrial action is called off, outpatient appointments will continue to run as normal. Please attend with your letter. However, it will not be possible to reinstate cancelled operations.

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Somerset hospitals declare 'black alert' status

Health and social care services across Somerset have reached the highest level of demand known as a ‘system wide black alert’.

Credit: Chris Radburn / PA

The county's Clinical Commissioning Group are asking members of the public to think first before calling a 999 ambulance and to attend hospital A&E with only minor ailments or illness.

The appeal comes the day before before the next junior doctors strike scheduled for tomorrow (9 March).

Additional hospital beds have been opened in local community hospitals, like Bridgwater, to relieve today’s additional demand, much of which is arising from the high numbers of hospital admissions from the frail elderly.

Members of the public with only minor ailments and illness can help themselves by the choosing:

  • SELF CARE AND PHARMACY - Treating themselves with over the counter remedies from their local pharmacist.
  • NHS 111 - Calls to the NHS 111 telephone helpline are free and the service is available 24 hours a day, 365 days of the year.
  • MINOR INJURY UNITS - Somerset has minor injury units at seven of the county community hospitals in Minehead, Bridgwater, Burnham-on-Sea, West Mendip Hospital (near Glastonbury) Shepton Mallet, Frome, and Chard.
  1. Katie Rowlett

Man loses leg after hospital failings

A Bristol man has been compensated after a routine operation led to him having his left leg amputated.

Michael Stephenson, from Whitchurch, caught an infection following hip surgery in 2009.

The North Bristol NHS Trust has admitted negligence and compensated the 53 year-old, but he says surgeons need to be held accountable.

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