NHS Strike Action
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Over a Million NHS Appointments Disrupted Amid Historic Joint Strike: Report Reveals

Unprecedented strike action by NHS’s junior doctors and consultants has led to the rescheduling of over a million acute inpatient and outpatient appointments, recent data reveals.

In just the past week, the NHS had to reschedule an additional 129,913 appointments, as the joint strike marked an attendance deficit of 26,802 staff at its climax. This ripple effect was also observed in other health sectors, with a recorded 3,581 cancellations spanning mental health, community settings, and learning disabilities.

The cumulative total of rescheduled appointments from December 2022 has skyrocketed to a staggering 1,015,067.

Dr. Vin Diwakar, NHS’s national medical director for secondary care and transformation, commented on the ongoing crisis, “The past 10 months have brought to light the unwavering repercussions of these strikes. Each displaced appointment signifies another hardship for our patients and their families. As we gear up for another unified action next week, our already stretched staff and services are struggling to bounce back.”

Steve Barclay, the Health and Social Care Secretary, labeled this revelation a “grim milestone”, condemning the British Medical Association (BMA) for the “coordinated and calculated industrial action” that has compounded distress for both patients and NHS affiliates.

Addressing the looming threat of escalated strike action by the BMA in the upcoming month, he said, “Such actions, especially as we approach winter, will only exacerbate the strain on our health services.”

Barclay also reminded that doctors have been accorded a “justifiable pay hike” as endorsed by independent pay review committees, emphasizing that recent entrants to hospital training have received a 10.3% pay boost, while the average junior doctor and consultants have benefited from 8.8% and 6% pay rises, respectively.

While he reaffirmed his commitment to open dialogue with NHS personnel to better their professional experiences, he was firm on the finality of the pay decision and called for the cessation of these disruptive protests.

The historic magnitude of this joint action became evident as consultants, for the first time ever, jointly protested with junior doctors last month. This wave of industrial action was initiated by nurses in December of the preceding year, following the Royal College of Nursing’s (RCN) first-ever national strike in over a century. Since then, ambulance staff, junior doctors, and others have been consistently protesting on grounds of pay, staffing, and work conditions.

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