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NHS Confederation responds to announcement of fresh wave of junior doctor strikes

Matthew Taylor said the new strikes will be a disappointing blow to NHS leaders.

Responding to the BMA announcing a fresh wave of junior doctor strikes, Matthew Taylor, chief executive of the NHS Confederation, said:

“The worst fear of health leaders’ has come true. The BMA has targeted very some challenging weeks for its next phase of junior doctor walkouts. Over these days the NHS will be focused on responding to higher than usual A&E attendances and trying to safely discharge patients who are well enough to leave hospital so that beds can be prioritised for those with the greatest clinical need.

“This development will be a disappointing blow to NHS leaders who have been doing everything they can to plan for what is expected to be a very difficult winter period and who were hoping that the arrival of a new health secretary would lead to a different outcome, especially as a deal has just been reached between the government and the consultants committee. 

“After a year of industrial action, which has come at a huge cost to patients, waiting lists, and NHS finances, this is the last thing leaders wanted to happen. As the government has shown willingness to resolve the dispute with consultants, our members will wonder whether announcing fresh junior doctor strikes at what could be the worst possible moment for the NHS is too hasty and too drastic. 

“If these strikes go ahead, the NHS’s financial position and what it is expected to deliver will need to be revisited once again, as the rescue money that was made available to services only last month did not cover the full cost of industrial action and was awarded on the basis there would be no further walkouts.

“While health leaders respect the rights of any of their staff to strike, fresh walkouts create a challenging environment for the NHS to plan and meet national commitments to cut waiting lists and boost productivity.”

Original article link: https://www.nhsconfed.org/news/nhs-confederation-responds-announcement-fresh-wave-junior-doctor-strikes

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