Residents in Norfolk and Waveney are advised to choose health and care services wisely during industrial action this May Bank Holiday

26th April 2023

Residents in Norfolk and Waveney advised to choose health and care services wisely as RCN industrial action set to take place over May Bank Holiday

People in Norfolk and Waveney are being urged to use health and care services wisely to help ensure that care is available to patients who need it most during the May Bank Holiday.

Health and care services in Norfolk and Waveney are seeing high levels of demand and people are being urged to use services wisely and to think self-care wherever possible.

It comes as the Royal College of Nursing, (RCN) is set to undertake industrial action from 20:00 on Sunday 30 April until 23.59 on Monday 1 May 2023.

It is really important people do not delay seeking help from the NHS if they feel unwell. However, with local health services experiencing high demand, people are being urged to only attend an Emergency Department if it’s absolutely necessary.

The best way to get the medical help you need is to think NHS 111 first. Visit or call 111 for anything that feels urgent, or if you are unsure what to do. They can direct you to the most appropriate place. In life-threatening emergencies dial 999.

Other things which everyone can do to help the NHS right now, include:

  • Only call 999 or attend accident and emergency departments for serious accidents and for genuine emergencies, like chest pain, breathing difficulties, signs of a stroke or bleeding that won’t stop.
  • When needing urgent medical care but it’s not an emergency, visit NHS 111 online or call NHS 111 for advice on how to get care at any time of day or night. If you need urgent mental health help, call 111 and choose the mental health option.
  • For non-urgent cases when needing medical advice and it’s not an emergency, speak to your GP practice or a pharmacist, or attend a minor injuries unit (Cromer) or walk in centre (Norwich).

Tricia D’Orsi, Executive Director of Nursing at NHS Norfolk and Waveney, said: “We understand people will be concerned that appointments are having to be re-arranged and that this can cause disappointment. We are working hard to make sure emergency services, and those which need to be prioritised, maintain safe standards of care.

“Please continue to treat all NHS and care staff with the respect they deserve. Abuse of any kind is not acceptable and will not be tolerated and we urge people to be kind and respectful towards our staff who are working incredibly hard to reschedule elective care appointments.”

If you have a medical appointment and are not contacted directly, you should continue to attend for your appointment. If unable to make any NHS appointment, please contact the number on appointment letters so that it can be reallocated to another patient.