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The NHS in Bradford District and Craven is urging people to plan ahead for their healthcare needs in the run up to what is expected to be a particularly busy time for health and care services in the area.

NHS consultants will be striking on Thursday 24 and Friday 25 August and there is likely to be a significant impact on services and disruption to appointments during this time.

The August bank holiday then falls on Monday 28 August so it’s important that you are prepared and know how to get help if needed at this time.

During this period, the NHS is urging anyone who needs medical care to continue to come forward in the normal way: attending booked appointments unless they are contacted; using NHS 111 for advice on which service to use; or calling 999 or going to your nearest emergency department (A&E) if someone is seriously ill or injured, or their life is at risk.

“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.”

Order any repeat prescriptions you may need to last over the bank holidays via your GP practice or using the NHS App that also allows you to change your nominated pharmacy. Some pharmacies may also be open on the bank holiday, you can use the NHS website to find an open pharmacy near you.

People may also consider having at home a small stock of basic medicines for minor illness or injury. These may include paracetamol, plasters, indigestion remedy and anti-diarrhoeal medicine. See the NHS website for advice on what you should keep in your first aid kit or ask your local pharmacist for advice.

Mental health support is also available over this period through Guide-Line between 8am and 12am on 08001 884 884 or the Healthy Minds website to get help. For 24/7 urgent mental health crisis support, people should contact First Response on 08009521181.