NHS England statement in advance of industrial action on Wednesday 6 April

NHS England has today said it will continue to make sure everything possible is being done to ensure safe emergency care is being provided and to minimise the impact of the action.

But it once again expresses regret for the disruption patients will face and the fact that thousands of planned procedures will have to be rearranged, leaving people having to wait longer for treatment.

However, it is expected that careful planning in scheduling operations during the proposed period of industrial action will have minimised the numbers of cancelled operations.

Dr Anne Rainsberry, National Incident Director for NHS England, said: “We’ve already seen that a 48-hour strike puts considerably more pressure on the NHS and it’s deeply regrettable that 1000s of patients are still facing disruption because of this recurring action.

“As always, the safety and care of patients is our number one priority and everything possible is being done to make sure patients will still be able to access urgent and emergency services.

“Following closely on from the four day Easter break this will be a difficult period especially over the course of the second day. Consequently we have redoubled our planning efforts and will be closely monitoring events to make sure we can respond to any rising pressures.

The public can expect:

  1. Urgent and emergency care services will be available as normal but hospitals are expected to be under additional pressure. Where possible, people should contact their GP, seek advice from their local pharmacist, call NHS111 or consult the NHS Choices website. Where it is an emergency, people should call 999 or go directly to A&E.
  2. GP services will be available as normal and we would encourage anyone who thinks they will need an appointment to organise this before industrial action begins.
  3. Any patients who have procedures or appointments affected by industrial action will be contacted by the providers if they need to be rearranged.  Those with concerns about their procedure or appointment should check their hospital’s website for information.
  4. People should take care of their own health over this period and look out for more vulnerable members of their families and communities. They should make maximum use NHS choices or NHS111 and local pharmacy services.


  1. Jacqueline Davies says:

    The doctors deserve support. They have shown great commitment to their work. They have been scapegoated for the ill-thought out policies of successive governments. Good healthcare is increasingly expensive yet, fearful of losing votes,politicians of all parties will not spell out, how the NHS should be financed. Should it be properly funded by increased taxation, more private health care, payment for GP visits, or what ? What is certain is that the present method of paying for health is totally inadequate.
    As a result, over the years numerous ill-thought out policies have been introduced at considerable cost to the public purse.
    How much has been wasted on the various reorganisations the revolving door policy, the army of management consultants, ad infinitum.
    Mr Hunt has not spelt out what he means by a 7 day service. What is certain is that it will be costly. What is not needed is a 5 day service spread over 7 days. Until Mr Hunt is certain he has the manpower and money to provide a 7 day service, he should work with the medical and allied professions to ensure first rate weekend emergency care.
    I am not a doctor, nurse or health service employee of any kind, but one who has been deeply appreciative
    of the excellent care I and my family have received . and very shocked by the way the medical profession has been denigrated.
    Mr Hunt should be ashamed of imposing contracts on those who give most to the NHS. It is autocratic and indicative of very weak leadership skills.

  2. John says:

    To have a work force so angry and demoralized is a recognition of your failure as managers. Yet McKinsey,Deloitte, PWC and KPMG continue to run and ruin our NATIONAL HEALTH SERVICE. Get rid of them and you have solved your problem.Get rid of commissing nonsense and markets and competition.
    Do army regiments have to competed with each other. Royal Navy ships compete for contracts; RAF squadrons compete with each other ? Why the NHS ? Ridiculus outsource the Army Navy Airforce ?
    How about privatising the House of Commons and the House of Lords ?
    You cannot manage by seeing your workforce as the ‘enemy within’ , those days are long gone.

  3. David Peach says:

    Stop hiding behind James Hunt and stand up for your dedicated junior doctors. They should be valued they are the future

  4. Abdul Jaleel says:

    If the Secretary of State was more resilient, the nation would not be in this soup. Dare you publish this truth.