Significant disruption is expected at Buckinghamshire hospitals due to industrial action set to take place later this week.

Junior doctors, including those at Buckinghamshire NHS health trust hospitals, will go on strike from 7am on February 24 until midnight on February 28.

Patient appointments and waiting times are expected to be impacted, most notably at emergency departments.

The two affected hospitals are located in Aylesbury and High Wycombe.

The Health and Community Services Union (HCSA) has also confirmed their members will cease action at 7am on February 29, 2024.

In response, the NHS is making concerted efforts to prioritise resources.

Emergency treatment, critical care, neonatal and maternity care and trauma services will be given priority, along with patients who have been waiting longest for elective care and cancer surgery.

Patients with prearranged appointments have been advised to attend as scheduled unless they receive direct communication from the NHS advising of changes.

Unfortunately, routine services are likely to bear the brunt of the strike action.

The NHS is looking to only reschedule appointments and procedures where necessary.

Immediate rebooking will be carried out wherever possible.

Dr Nick Broughton, interim Chief Executive of the NHS Buckinghamshire, Oxfordshire and Berkshire West Integrated Care Board, said: "The walkout will sadly once more bring significant challenges to our services.

"Emergencies, critical care, maternity, trauma and neonatal care safe staffing will be our absolute priority, and the NHS is working together across Buckinghamshire, Oxfordshire and Berkshire West to ensure we are there for people when they need us.

"We're grateful to all our colleagues working during this time to keep services running and patients safe and we urge the public to be kind and treat all staff with respect."

In the meantime, the public has been urged to use 111 online or by phone for their healthcare needs, ensuring prescriptions are current and checking on vulnerable family members and friends.

Urging patients to seek appropriate medical care during the strike period, Dr Rachael de Caux, Chief Medical Officer at the NHS Buckinghamshire, Oxfordshire and Berkshire West Integrated Care Board, said: "Patients who need urgent medical care must continue to come forward as normal, especially in emergency and life-threatening cases.

"We expect Emergency Departments to be very busy during strike action so it’s important people choose the most appropriate NHS service for their needs, and only use 999 and A&E for serious or life threatening emergencies.

"GP practices will be open during normal working hours together with community pharmacies.

"NHS 111 online or by phone will help direct you to the best part of the NHS that can respond to your needs, but be aware that it may take longer during this period to be seen and treated so we ask for your patience."