New strikes by junior doctors pose a ‘dramatic risk’ to patients, health leaders warn amid what is set to be the longest walkout in NHS history

Photo of author
Written By Rivera Claudia

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet consectetur pulvinar ligula augue quis venenatis. 

  • Junior doctors are on third day of  72-hour walkout, returning to work tomorrow

Strikes planned by junior doctors for January will present a ‘dramatic risk’ to patients, health leaders have said.

Danny Mortimer, chief executive of NHS Employers, has warned that hospital staffing levels seen during this week’s industrial action will not be ‘sustainable’ next month.

He said ‘most teams dread’ the first week of January as it is typically the year’s most challenging, and services are ‘already facing enormous demand’.

Junior doctors are currently on their third day of a 72-hour walkout and will return to work tomorrow before picketing again for six days from January 3 – the longest strike in NHS history.

In a letter to Professor Philip Banfield, chairman of council at the British Medical Association, Mr Mortimer called on the union to grant more exemptions when doctors could cross picket lines to help out. 

The BMA is calling for pay for junior doctors that the Government said would amount to a 35 per cent rise and is ‘unaffordable’

He wrote: ‘Your joint letter with NHS England makes clear that in relation to the December action that the staff recall and derogations process remains largely the same as the previous strikes.

‘This arrangement will not be sustainable in January.

‘In the previous periods of industrial action taken solely by your junior doctor members, the core duties typically carried out by striking junior doctors have been covered by other medical colleagues and members of the wider team.

‘This position will not be tenable in January.’

Mr Mortimer’s letter continued: ‘I recognise that there are countless examples where our colleagues are not able to do their very best for their patients, but the first fortnight in January is one of the times when this risk dramatically increases. I would urge the leadership of the BMA to not therefore make this position worse during strike action in January.’

Professor Banfield said the BMA is ‘strongly committed to ensuring that patients are safe during strikes’.

Junior doctors are currently on their third day of a 72-hour walkout and will return to work tomorrow before picketing again for six days from January 3

Junior doctors are currently on their third day of a 72-hour walkout and will return to work tomorrow before picketing again for six days from January 3

Health Secretary Victoria Atkins told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme yesterday: ‘Consultants and nurses and other doctors who aren’t on strike are, today and yesterday, and will be over January, coming in, doing extra shifts, to ensure that that level of care is provided for patients. They are being expected by the junior doctors’ committee to pick up the slack of their strikes.’

She suggested Department of Health and Social Care ministers and officials would be ‘back round the table in 20 minutes’ for talks if the strikes are called off.

She added that ‘many, many’ doctors will be ‘deeply uncomfortable that their committee has called these strikes at this time’. 

She said: ‘I would encourage anyone who feels like that quietly to consider whether this committee is in fact representing their views.’ 

The BMA is calling for pay for junior doctors that the Government said would amount to a 35 per cent rise and is ‘unaffordable’.

Health Secretary Victoria Atkins said consultants nurses, and other doctors who aren¿t on strike are, are being expected to pick up the slack

Health Secretary Victoria Atkins said consultants nurses, and other doctors who aren’t on strike are, are being expected to pick up the slack

Nurses, physiotherapists and paramedics have called off strikes following pay deals but junior doctors rejected the Government’s offer of a 3 per cent increase on top of an average 8.8 per cent 2023-24 pay rise.

One NHS trust chief executive told the Guardian the pay row was ‘fracturing’ relationships between junior doctors and consultants, as they thought the disruption had gone on too long and the trainees ‘don’t have a huge amount to complain about’.

Dr Robert Laurenson and Dr Vivek Trivedi, co-chairmen of the BMA’s junior doctors’ committee, said: ‘Throughout negotiations with the Government we had a mutually agreed deadline for them to make a credible offer. 

‘This deadline passed and we were therefore forced to call strikes. We did not walk away from negotiations and we are happy to talk to Ms Atkins at any time. 

‘It is the Government’s insistence that they will not talk while strikes are scheduled that is blocking progress and wasting unnecessary time.’

SOURCE

Leave a Comment

bcd bcd bcd bcd bcd bcd bcd bcd bcd bcd bcd bcd bcd bcd bcd bcd bcd bcd bcd bcd bcd bcd bcd bcd bcd bcd bcd bcd bcd bcd bcd bcd bcd bcd bcd bcd bcd bcd bcd bcd bcd bcd bcd bcd bcd bcd bcd bcd bcd bcd bcd bcd bcd bcd bcd bcd bcd bcd bcd bcd bcd bcd bcd bcd bcd bcd bcd bcd bcd bcd bcd bcd bcd bcd bcd bcd bcd bcd bcd bcd bcd bcd bcd bcd bcd bcd bcd bcd bcd bcd bcd bcd bcd bcd bcd bcd bcd bcd