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NHS Confederation - Further junior doctor strikes risk placing more pressure on stretched NHS

More industrial action could jeopardise attempts to bring down NHS waiting lists and improve A&E performance.

Responding to the BMA’s announcement of a further wave of junior doctors strikes Matthew Taylor, chief executive of the NHS Confederation, said:

“It is deeply disappointing that the BMA and government have not been able to find a solution to the ongoing pay debate and as a result junior doctors will be striking again.

“The last thing our members wanted was more industrial action which jeopardises all their attempts to tackle waiting lists for routine hospital care and keep urgent and emergency care from buckling under the strain of winter pressures. NHS leaders will be worried that further walk outs could push services to breaking point. 

“As always, it is patients who bear the greatest burden from industrial action, with more than 1.3 million appointments and procedures cancelled in the last year due to strikes. Patients will face the double frustration of having their vital treatments cancelled at the last minute and not knowing when they will be rescheduled.

“Health leaders will now begin planning to make sure their rotas are full enough to maintain patient safety and they can keep as many services running as possible.

“It is even more frustrating to see fresh strikes called when during the last strike period there were some signs that common ground could be found. Five days of industrial action seems disproportionate if the BMA is serious about responding positively to the ongoing discussions with the government. We call on both sides to lay out the basis for a realistic settlement that would be satisfactory to the majority of junior doctors.”

Original article link: https://www.nhsconfed.org/news/further-junior-doctor-strikes-risk-placing-more-pressure-stretched-nhs

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