NHS Devon is urging residents to use services "wisely" during the upcoming strike action, which coincides with a yellow heat health alert.

Junior doctors across Devon will commence a five-day strike from 7 am on Thursday, June 27, until 7 am on Tuesday, July 2. The yellow heat warning is currently issued for the South West between June 24 and 27.

Dr Nigel Acheson, Chief Medical Officer for NHS Devon, said: “We’re asking people to look after themselves and loved ones in the warm weather leading up to the strike and use the most appropriate service for their needs during the industrial action.”

The message from NHS Devon is that urgent and emergency care will still be available, but during the strike, they are urging residents to carefully choose which services they need.

The advice for patients is to:

  • Continue to call 999 for emergency and life-threatening cases - when someone is seriously ill or injured, or their life is at risk.
  • Go to NHS 111 online if you need medical help or advice, or are unsure about whether you should go to the hospital; you can also phone 111.
  • Check local hospital trust websites for information on Minor Injury Units and Urgent Treatment Centres. Further information can be found here: Health Pressures - One Devon.
  • Anyone with a hospital appointment should continue to attend as planned unless they’ve been contacted to rearrange.
  • If you, or someone you know, experiences a mental health crisis, you can access support from 111.
  • Play your part by taking simple steps during the industrial action to look after yourselves and your loved ones, checking in on vulnerable family members and neighbours. The first step is making sure your medicine cabinet is well-stocked.
  • Make use of community pharmacies, which can advise on minor illnesses and provide medications. Details about pharmacies can be found via the interactive map here: Pharmacy Opening Hours.

The NHS and UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) provide extensive online resources on staying safe in the heat, including advice on heat exhaustion and heatstroke, which can be found on their website.