Bosses at North Devon District Hospital advise calling GP or visiting pharmacist in non-emergency situation

Patients in North Devon are being advised to 'think' before attending A&E during the junior doctor strikes taking place today (Tuesday) and tomorrow.

Unlike previous industrial action, this week's strikes will include cover for urgent and emergency care.

But bosses at North Devon District Hospital say 'robust' plans are in place to ensure a minimal impact on core services.

Dr George Thomson, medical director for Northern Devon Healthcare Trust, said: "Senior staff will be providing additional support at North Devon District Hospital, including consultants, clinical nurse specialists, nurses, therapy leads and pharmacists.

"I would like to thank those staff, as well as our health and social care teams and partner organisations, for their support in ensuring patients continue to receive the safe, high-quality care they need.

"Our preparations have been assisted by the ongoing success of our Perfect Week initiatives, which have enabled us to speed up the flow of patients through the hospital.

"Where we are rescheduling some non-urgent appointments and operations, all patients are being contacted directly by the service.

"Patients are advised that, unless they have been contacted, they should continue to attend on the day as planned.

"As ever, the public can help us by thinking before they attend A&E and considering whether another option might be more appropriate if it's not an emergency, such as calling or visiting your GP, calling NHS 111 or calling or visiting a pharmacy."

For more general advice for patients from the Northern, Eastern and Western Devon Clinical Commissioning Group, click here.