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Gwent Doctor Warns Upcoming Strikes Will Have Biggest Impact Yet on Waiting Times

Friday 22nd March 2024

Aneurin Bevan University Health Board’s Medical Director has warned that the imminent BMA Junior Doctor strikes could have a significant impact on patient care – and has urged local residents not to attend hospital unless completely essential.

Dr James Calvert says that the staffing shortages due to the industrial action, which is due to take place from 7am on Monday 25th March to 7am on Friday 29th March, will leave extremely limited numbers of doctors to treat hospital patients. This will affect all hospitals in the Gwent area, including the Emergency Department and Medical Assessment Units, as well as on the hospital wards.

It is expected that this period of industrial action will influence the operations of the Health Board more severely than previously, due to it taking place in the Easter school holidays and the unavailability of many consultants, senior doctors and other clinical staff to provide cover.


Dr James Calvert, Medical Director for Aneurin Bevan University Health Board, said: “Although we have experienced Junior Doctor strikes before, next week’s industrial action will unfortunately be far more disruptive to patients than we would want and will leave our services enormously stretched.

“During previous strikes, we have been fortunate to be able to secure adequate medical cover to minimise the disruption to patients. However, as these strikes fall in the Easter holidays, it hasn’t been possible for us to obtain the same level of staffing cover for all areas and it will undoubtedly impact on the timeliness of the patient care we are able to deliver.

“We sincerely apologise for the disruption this will cause to our patients, but we must ask local residents to do everything they can to avoid attending our hospitals unless absolutely necessary.

“Those that do require urgent hospital care will be seen according to the severity of their condition, but waits may be exceptionally long in the Emergency Department and on our Medical Assessment Units for other patients. Our ward patients will be covered by a doctor but staff may not be as available to have discussions with family as we would wish.

“If patients are very unwell they should still present to the Grange University Hospital. However, GP surgeries will be working normally and treatment for minor ailments will also be available from local pharmacies. If people are unsure where would be best to go to seek help then please call NHS 111.

“We would like to thank our patients and communities for their patience and support at this challenging time.”


Patients with a pre-booked appointment or procedure in one of our hospitals during the strike period will be contacted directly by our booking team if their appointment is affected. Anyone who is not contacted is asked to attend any booked appointments as normal.

Gwent residents are reminded that urgent care advice is available through the Gwent Health Guide or by calling 111.