NHS England comment on the latest round of industrial action

Commenting on the latest round of industrial action, NHS National Medical Director Professor Sir Stephen Powis said: “As the longest strike in the history of the NHS begins during one of the busiest and most challenging weeks of the year – the health service is experiencing the winter pressures of flu and Covid combined with the huge disruption of industrial action.

“We know hospitals are already experiencing significant demand with other NHS services also under immense pressure – and although staff are doing the very best for patients with extensive preparations in place, there is no denying the NHS has started the year in a very difficult position.

“This latest round of strike action will not only have an impact on this week but will have an ongoing effect on the weeks and months ahead, as we struggle to recover services and cope with heavy demand.

“Our message for patients remains the same – continue to come forward for care using 999 and A&E in life-threatening emergencies and 111 online for everything else.”