Junior doctors and consultants strike will see “extreme disruption” across NHS

Image above: Junior doctors  on the picket line at Charing Cross Hospital during previous strike action

NHS care facing Christmas Day levels of service disruption

The British Medical Association (BMA) and Hospital Consultants and Specialists Association (HCSA) representing junior doctors and consultants respectively are striking this week, in industrial action which NHS management have said will cause “extreme disruption” across the NHS.

Trade unions representing some NHS staff are in dispute with the Government over the 2022/23 pay award, as well as wider conditions within the NHS as a whole. A number of the unions have balloted their NHS members to take part in industrial action. As a result, members of the following unions are striking on the dates listed below:

  • 2 October – from 7.00am, BMA and BDA Consultants, HSCA and BMA junior doctors, and BDA dental trainees out on strike
  • 3 October – all day, BMA and BDA Consultants, HSCA and BMA junior doctors, and BDA dental trainees on strike. Society of Radiographers (SoR)* out on strike from 8.00am
  • 4 October – all day, BMA and BDA Consultants, HSCA and BMA junior doctors, and BDA dental trainees. SoR members on strike until 0800
  • 5 October – until 7.00am, BMA and BDA Consultants, HSCA and BMA junior doctors, and BDA dental trainees on strike

Local NHS Trusts involved in the industrial action include Imperial College Healthcare Trust, Chelsea and Westminster Hospital NHS Foundation Trust (which includes West Middlesex hospital)  and South West London and St George’s Mental Health.

People needing emergency care are being advised to use A&E units as normal or call 999.

For other health concerns, 111 or GP services should be used – although they could be disrupted, as some junior doctors work as GP trainees. Patients should have been told about any postponements of non-emergency services in advance.

The number of inpatient and outpatient appointments and operations cancelled due to strikes across England has passed  1 million following the first co-ordinated strike by junior doctors and consultants in history earlier this month.

Almost 15,000 appointments and operations were cancelled by Chelsea and Westminster Hospital NHS Foundation Trust because of NHS strike action over the last year, according to NHS England figures. Tens of thousands of appointments and operations were cancelled by Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust.

On Tuesday the disruption will be added to by a walkout by radiographers, which carry out scans, at around a quarter of NHS trusts.

NHS England medical director Prof Sir Stephen Powis said: “NHS services have had very little time to recover from the previous action and now face three consecutive days which will prove extremely challenging, with almost all routine care brought to a standstill.”