Longest NHS walk-out in history comes to an end as junior doctors return to work. The walkout has come to an end this morning (January 9). Junior Doctors have been on strike as part of a long running dispute over pay
Speaking as the latest wave of junior doctor strikes comes to an end Matthew Taylor, chief executive of the NHS Confederation, said “NHS leaders will be relieved that this round of industrial action is coming to a close but their teams now face the mop-up challenge of rebooking the tens of thousands of patients whose planned care was displaced. These strikes came during one of the busiest weeks of the year for the health service, as seen in number of trusts having to declare critical incidents or calling for junior doctors to return to work.
“Health leaders and their staff carried out extensive planning to prepare for these strikes, and their incredible hard work over this period has kept services from buckling completely and maintained services as best as possible.
“It is too early to say what the full impact of the longest strikes in NHS history has been and how many patients have had their vital appointments or operations postponed. What is potentially more worrying is we do not know how many patients avoided coming forward for care due to the strikes and what kind of backlog this could create for already overstretched services.
“The NHS will take time to recover, but it is still the middle of winter and with a cold snap on the horizon services could face yet more pressure. Consultants who covered for their junior doctor colleagues could also be taking time off now, which may lead to a further drop in productivity.
“Now that the strikes are coming to an end the government and BMA should re-start negotiations and end this dispute which is having such an impact on patients and the NHS.”