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Over 86,000 appointments rescheduled due to junior doctors’ strike

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Junior doctors are set to begin another six-day walkout from 3 January, which means more pressure to the NHS

The recent industrial action by junior doctors and hospital dental trainees impacted 86,329 inpatient and outpatient appointments, according to new figures released by NHS England.

Their strike action began on Wednesday (20 December) at 7.00am and finished at 7.00am on Saturday (23 December).

Since NHS strikes started 12 months ago, a total of 1,219,422 appointments have been rescheduled.

In October, over 118,000 hospital appointments were disrupted as more than 24,000 staff went off duty per day due to industrial action by consultants and junior doctors.

The number is expected to rise in the new year, with junior doctors set to go on strike again for six consecutive days, from 7.00am on 3 January until 7.00am on 9 January 2024.

NHS national medical director Professor Stephen Powis said: “This latest round of strike action over the festive period has put an already overloaded heath service under significantly more pressure – three days of strike action, ending two days before Christmas, has seen almost 86,000 more appointments rescheduled for patients needing care.

“As well as having an impact on planned care, industrial action is putting pressure on wider services, and prioritising emergency care takes staff away from other areas such as recovering services.

“With another six-day walkout coming in the New Year at what is one of the busiest times for the health service, strike action is once again going to bring significant challenges to the NHS as it struggles to provide for patients amid severe disruption.”

Therefore, Powis is asking people to attend A&E and call 999 in life-threatening emergencies, but to use 111 online for other health needs over the festive period.

The strike action is part of an ongoing dispute between junior doctors, who make up around half of all doctors in the NHS, and the government over the 2022/23 pay award.

Announcing the industrial action, the British Medical Association (BMA) and Hospital Consultants and Specialists Association (HCSA), trade unions representing the NHS staff, stated that junior doctors will undertake a full withdrawal of labour.

If your appointment is rescheduled due to strike action, the NHS will contact you. If they have not contacted you, you’re advised to attend appointment as planned.

 

 

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