Cheltenham A&E closes temporarily as junior doctors strike over pay and working conditions

Cheltenham Hospital A&E

The accident and emergency (A&E) department at Cheltenham General Hospital has closed temporarily due to the junior doctors strike this weekend.

It's their fifth strike over working conditions and pay. The industrial action began this morning, Friday 11 August, and ends on Tuesday 15 August.

Cheltenham A&E changed to a Minor Injury and Illness Unit (MIIU) yesterday and is closed from today until 8am on Tuesday.

Emergency care services will be at Gloucestershire Royal Hospital 24/7 during the strike. People are advised to only attend A&E if their condition is serious or life-threatening.

GP practices and other community minor injuries units across the county will continue to provide their usual services.

The NHS in Gloucestershire has warned that this latest round of strikes poses substantial challenges to hospital services and that the impact will be felt for over a week.

A previous doctors strike outside Cheltenham A&E

Patients can also expect cancellations to planned outpatient appointments, procedures and operations.

Anyone who has a planned hospital operation, outpatient clinic or procedure between today and Tuesday should attend as usual unless they hear otherwise.

However, given the need to ensure safe staffing arrangements in emergency care and other critical services many appointments will need to be rearranged.

There will be no disruption to patient visiting arrangements on these days.

Chief Medical Officer at NHS Gloucestershire, Dr Andy Seymour said: "The latest round of strikes will bring substantial challenges to the local NHS, particularly hospital services, and we are sorry that many patients will experience disruption to services.

"One Gloucestershire health and care partners are working closely together to ensure those in greatest need continue to have access to high quality care and support.

"We cannot emphasise enough how important it will be to keep A&E at Gloucestershire Royal Hospital clear for life threatening conditions and serious injuries.

"The public can help by thinking carefully about their healthcare options and getting advice when needed from NHS 111. Advice will also be available through local NHS social media channels."