NHS England update on industrial action by junior doctors

NHS England has issued an update on the industrial action by junior doctors that is taking place today.

NHS trusts have reported today that 44% [1] of junior doctors have reported for duty on the day shift. (Around 26,000 junior doctors would be at work on a typical day).

Combining junior doctors, other doctors and consultants, the data shows 73% of the total trust medical workforce in work today.

Earlier this week Trusts had reported to NHS England that it was expected the following elective procedures will have been cancelled as a result of the industrial action:

  • Inpatient – 2,077, including 2,042 on days of action (9 and 10 March)
  • Day case – 3,187, including  3,172 on days of action (9 and 10 March) [2]

Dr Anne Rainsberry, National Incident Director for NHS England, said: “Unfortunately the cumulative effect of these recurring strikes is causing disruption to 1000s of patients, for which we can only apologise.

“A 48-hour stoppage puts considerably more pressure on the NHS. The impact of the action so far is broadly in line with what we were expecting but we know that the second day is going to be more difficult and have made sure plans are in place to respond to any rising pressures.

“Patient safety is always our absolute priority and staff across the country will be doing everything they can to make sure patients can continue to access urgent and emergency services.

“If people need medical help during the industrial action and it’s not an emergency they should consider NHS Choices, visit their local pharmacy – or call their GP or NHS 111 for more serious matters. If their condition is an emergency or life-threatening they should call 999 as usual or go to A&E”.

[1] This is not saying that 44% have chosen to work despite having a strike mandate as a proportion of those at work on a typical day would have been rostered to emergency services and therefore have turned up for duty.

[2] Data on cancellation of elective procedures was collected prior to the strike in respect of the period from 1 March to 15 March inclusive ie. to cover the effect of the strike on the days of industrial action and the days immediately pre- and post-action.