Damning toll of worst ever NHS strike laid bare: 200,000 operations and appointments were postponed because of four-day junior doctors’ walk-out
- Rishi Sunak’s spokesperson said negotiations with the RCN will not be reopened
- 54% of the union’s balloted members rejected pay rise and one-off bonus
- Pat Cullen, chief executive of the RCN, said that the union will ‘get a better deal’
More than 200,000 NHS procedures and appointments were postponed because of the devastating four-day junior doctors’ strike.
It means the historic walk-out — organised to coincide with fragile hospital staffing rotas around the Easter holidays — caused more carnage than any other during the ongoing pay dispute.
Tens of thousands of junior doctors took to picket lines in pursuit of a whopping 35 per cent pay rise between April 11-15.
Sir Stephen Powis, national medical director for the NHS, branded the impact of the unprecedented 96-hour strike ‘colossal’.
He said: ‘Today’s figures lay bare the colossal impact of industrial action on planned care in the NHS.
It puts to end the dispute that saw tens of thousands of union members strike over the winter months, leading to mass disruption across the health service
Rishi Sunak’s spokesperson today said pay negotiations with the Royal College of Nursing (RCN) will not be reopened
‘Each of the appointments postponed has an impact on the lives of individuals and their families and creates further pressure on services and on a tired workforce.’
Sir Stephen said the figure, published by NHS England, may be an underestimate of the true impact because some hospitals chose not to schedule appointments on the strike days.
He added: ‘Our staff now have an immense amount of work to catch up on hundreds of thousands of appointments, all while continuing to make progress on tackling the backlog of people who have been waiting the longest for treatment.’
READ MORE NHS paramedics, nurses and hospital porters who are part of Unison have accepted Government pay offer
Paramedics, nurses and hospital porters in England who are members of Unison have accepted the Government’s pay offer. Pictured: Unison ambulance workers on the picket line outside London Ambulance Service in Waterloo, south London, on February 10 2023
Sir Stephen said the impact ‘becomes harder’ with each strike and that ‘the impact on patients and staff will unfortunately continue to worsen’.
NHS Providers chief executive Sir Julian Hartley said: ‘As feared, the four-day strike by junior doctors has led to the biggest disruption for patients yet… We can’t go on like this.
‘The huge number of rescheduled operations and appointments will keep climbing unless the government sits down with unions to find a way to prevent more strikes.’
Matthew Taylor, chief executive of the NHS Confederation, said: ‘This strike action is going on much longer than expected and will have long-term consequences for patients.
‘If there are to be further strikes, it is vital that derogations are set out as soon as possible and before further action takes place, so leaders can ensure safe levels of staffing, particularly for urgent and emergency care.
‘Otherwise, it will be tougher for NHS leaders to plan and mitigate the effects of strike action, meaning that the impact of any disruption could be far worse than what we have already seen.’
Around half a million appointments and procedures have now been suspended since the winter of discontent began.
The British Medical Association (BMA), which orchestrated the junior doctors’ walk-out, is feared to be plotting even more walk-outs in May in order to bring the ailing health service to a standstill once more.
There are also fears it might coordinate with other unions to cripple the NHS.
The Royal College of Nursing (RCN) has also announced a fresh 48-hour strike at the end of April after rejecting No10’s ‘final’ pay offer.
For the first time since walk-outs began, nurses working in A&E, intensive care and cancer wards will picket.
Pat Cullen, chief executive of the union, today said that the RCN will ‘get a better deal’ and urged the Government to ‘pay nurses decently’ and ‘add to’ what they had already offered
Ms Cullen confirmed that the next nurses strike will run over the early May Bank Holiday, from 8pm on April 30 to 8pm on May 2
Fellow union Unite, which was given the same deal, today also revealed it would be holding more action in May because the sum is ‘nowhere near good enough’.
Unison, however, ‘decisively accepted’ the same offer, which amounted to a five per cent pay rise this year plus a one-off bonus averaging 6 per cent.
Downing Street has ruled out improving its pay offer for more than a million workers covered by that deal.
But RCN boss Pat Cullen said: ‘We will have to get a better deal.’
Read more: Rishi Sunak says he WON’T offer NHS workers a better pay deal after nurses’ union rejects offer, announces fresh strike and warns action could last until Christmas
Labour’s Wes Streeting today called on Health Secretary Steve Barclay to ‘swallow his pride’ and call in conciliation service Acas to ‘mediate an end’ to the action.
NHS England data showed 20,470 inpatient procedures had to be rescheduled due to the junior doctors’ walk-out last week.
This can include routine procedures like hip and knee replacements, which require an overnight stay in hospital.
The majority (175,755) were outpatient cases, such as X-rays and minor procedures.
The rest of the cancellations were for community services appointments and mental health and learning disability appointments.
An average of 26,145 staff per day were absent from work as a result of the industrial action.
Where will nurses strike on April 30?
The RCN has said the 48-hour, no exceptions walkout will be held at the following NHS workplaces in England.:
Derbyshire Community Health Services NHS Foundation Trust
Derbyshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust
East Midlands Ambulance Service NHS Trust
Kettering General Hospital NHS Foundation Trust
NHS Derby and Derbyshire ICB
NHS Nottingham and Nottinghamshire ICB
Northamptonshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust
Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust
Nottinghamshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust
Cambridge University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust
Cambridgeshire and Peterborough NHS Foundation Trust
Cambridgeshire Community Services NHS Trust
East Suffolk and North Essex NHS Foundation Trust
Hertfordshire Community NHS Trust
NHS Hertfordshire and West Essex ICB
NHS Mid and South Essex ICB
NHS Norfolk and Waveney ICB
NHS Suffolk and North East Essex ICB
Norfolk and Norwich University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust
Norfolk Community Health and Care
NHS Trust Royal Papworth Hospital NHS Foundation Trust
West Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust
Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children NHS Foundation Trust
Guys and St Thomas NHS Foundation Trust
Hounslow and Richmond Community Healthcare NHS Trust
Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust
Kings College Hospital NHS Foundation Trust
NHS North Central London ICB
NHS South West London ICB
Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust
St George’s University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
Tavistock and Portman NHS Foundation Trust
University College London Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
Alder Hey Children’s NHS Foundation Trust
Bridgewater Community Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust
Cheshire and Wirral Partnership NHS Foundation Trust
Countess of Chester Hospital NHS Foundation Trust
Lancashire Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
Liverpool Heart and Chest Hospital NHS Foundation Trust
Liverpool University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
Liverpool Women’s NHS Foundation Trust
Mersey Care NHS Foundation Trust
Mid Cheshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
NHS Cheshire and Merseyside ICB
NHS Lancashire and South Cumbria ICB
North West Ambulance Service NHS Trust
St Helens and Knowsley Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust
Tameside and Glossop Integrated Care NHS Foundation Trust
The Christie NHS Foundation Trust
The Clatterbridge Cancer Centre NHS Foundation Trust
The Walton Centre NHS Foundation Trust
Wirral Community Health and Care NHS Foundation Trust
Wirral University Teaching Hospital NHS Foundation Trust
Wrightington Wigan and Leigh NHS Foundation Trust
Country Durham and Darlington NHS Foundation Trust
Gateshead NHS Foundation Trust
North of England Commissioning Support (NECS)
North East Ambulance Service NHS Trust
Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust
South Tees Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
The Newcastle Upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay NHS Foundation Trust
East Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust
Kent Community Health NHS Foundation Trust
NHS Kent and Medway ICB
NHS Surrey Heartlands ICB
Queen Victoria Hospital NHS Foundation Trust
South East Coast Ambulance Service
Sussex Community NHS Foundation Trust
Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust
University Hospitals Sussex NHS Foundation Trust
Oxford Health NHS Foundation Trust
Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
Portsmouth Hospitals NHS Trust
Royal Berkshire NHS Foundation Trust
Solent NHS Trust
South Central Ambulance Services NHS Foundation Trust
Southern Health NHS Foundation Trust
University Hospital Southampton NHS Foundation Trust
Avon and Wiltshire Mental Health Partnership NHS Trust
Cornwall Partnership NHS Foundation Trust
Devon Partnership NHS Trust
Dorset County Hospital NHS Foundation Trust
Dorset Healthcare University NHS Foundation Trust
Gloucestershire Health and Care NHS Foundation Trust
Gloucestershire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
Great Western Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
NHS Bath, North East Somerset, Swindon and Wiltshire ICB
NHS Devon ICB (One Devon)
NHS Dorset ICB (One Dorset)
NHS Gloucestershire ICB (One Gloucestershire)
North Bristol NHS Trust
Royal Cornwall Hospitals NHS Trust
Royal Devon University Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust
Royal United Hospitals Bath NHS Foundation Trust
Salisbury NHS Foundation Trust
Somerset NHS Foundation Trust
South Western Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust
Torbay and South Devon NHS Foundation Trust
University Hospitals Bristol and Weston NHS Foundation Trust
University Hospitals Dorset NHS Foundation Trust
University Hospitals Plymouth NHS Trust
Birmingham Women’s and Children’s NHS Foundation Trust
Dudley Integrated Health and Care NHS Trust
Herefordshire and Worcestershire Health and Care NHS Trust
Midlands and Lancashire CSU
Midlands Partnership NHS Foundation Trust
NHS Birmingham and Solihull ICB (BSol ICB)
NHS Black Country ICB
Robert Jones and Agnes Hunt Orthopaedic Hospital NHS Foundation Trust
Shropshire Community Health NHS Trust
The Royal Orthopaedic Hospital NHS Foundation Trust
University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust
Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust
Yorkshire and the Humber
Barnsley Hospital NHS Foundation Trust
Bradford Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
Harrogate and District NHS Foundation Trust
Leeds Community Healthcare NHS Trust
NHS North West Yorkshire ICB
Sheffield Children’s NHS Foundation Trust
Sheffield Health and Social Care NHS Foundation Trust
Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
The Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust
York and Scarborough Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
Health Education England
NHS Blood and Transplant
NHS England NHS Resolution
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