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29.04.16

Trust and CCG leaders warned to prepare for indefinite strikes

An indefinite walkout by junior doctors could be on the horizon, the chief executives of NHS England and NHS Improvement have warned leaders of trusts and CCGs.

Junior doctors staged the first all-out strike in the bitter industrial dispute over pay for antisocial working hours this week, but it failed to bring about a resumption of negotiations.

Simon Stevens and Jim Mackey warned NHS leaders in a joint letter that further industrial action is possible, including the all-out walkout discussed by junior doctors in leaked e-mails.

Stevens and Mackey said: “If drawn out for an extended period, there would likely be major implications for elective care and urgent care and the ability of hospitals to keep certain departments and services running.”

In accordance with the Civil Contingencies Act, they asked NHS leaders to refresh their local contingency plans within a fortnight, including specific plans for the event of indefinite withdrawals of 12-hour emergency care, 24-hour elective care and 24-hour elective and emergency care.

They also thanked NHS leaders and their staff for the “exceptional” way they ensured emergency care during the strikes. However, they warned there would be continued consequences, such as the spillover of 125,000 patients who had their care deferred during the strikes.

Emeritus Professor W Angus Wallace, who worked as an NHS Consultant in Trauma and Orthopaedics in Nottingham for 32 years, warned today that the junior doctors’ conflict is in danger of destroying the NHS as we know it.

(Image c. David Wilcox from PA Wire)

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