NHS braces for ‘worst strike ever’ tomorrow amid three days of strike action set to have ‘significant and lasting impact’ on cancer care as teachers unions refuse to rule out strike during exams .
Up to 60,000 young doctors from across England will walk out for three days from 7am tomorrow as part of an ongoing dispute over demands for a 35 per cent pay rise.
At first worryingly, even young doctors working at A&E will take part in the walkout, potentially leaving emergency departments critically understaffed.
And the British Medical Association (BMA) union issued a stinging letter last night rejecting a late offer of talks from Health Secretary Steve Barclay.
NHS chief medical officer Sir Stephen Powis has warned it could take months for the health service to recover from strikes this week, with thousands of appointments and procedures scheduled to be cancelled.
People gather on Warren Street in London, ahead of a strike support march in solidarity with nurses, young doctors and other NHS staff on Saturday.
The British Medical Association (BMA) union issued a stinging letter last night rejecting a late offer of talks from Health Secretary Steve Barclay (pictured)
He said The times: ‘It is inevitable that the extraordinary pressure caused by what could be the worst strike in NHS history will have a significant and lasting impact on cancer care and routine operations, which will take some time to recover from.’
Sir Stephen added: “We have to be very clear that the scale and duration of the strike this week will cause serious disruption to NHS services, at a level far beyond what we have already seen.”
“We will only cancel appointments when absolutely necessary, but unfortunately thousands of routine appointments and procedures across the country will need to be canceled.”
Meanwhile, thousands of teachers will walk out of schools on Wednesday in a bitter dispute over pay, which will affect some seven million students.
National Education Union general secretary Kevin Courtney says he expects “more than half of all schools” to close as he pursues an above-inflation pay rise for members and has refused to rule out more strikes for GCSE and A-level exams this summer.
The full impact of this latest strike will not be known until Wednesday morning, with local councils advising parents to monitor individual school websites.
Addressing concerns about the exams, Courtney said: “We will make decisions about future actions, but our focus is to resolve the dispute.” I’m not saying anything about exams, we hope to resolve this before we get to the conference.’
Talks between the unions and the government have stalled due to the government’s insistence that the NEU strike must be called off before negotiations can continue.
It comes as the NHS already has record waiting lists with more than seven million patients awaiting treatment.
The BMA argues that the strike is necessary as young doctors’ pay has fallen by 35 percent in real terms since 2008, a figure disputed by ministers. He wants “full pay restoration” to 2008 levels.
Publicly, the BMA claims that emergency care this Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday will “be no different to any other day”, while it has dismissed claims that strikes cost lives. Privately, however, some of its key leaders have admitted that patients can be harmed.
BMA young doctors committee co-chairs Vivek Trivedi (left) and Rob Laurenson speak to the media outside the Department of Health and Social Care on Thursday.
Thousands of teachers will walk out of schools on Wednesday in a bitter dispute over pay, which will affect some seven million students.
Chancellor Jeremy Hunt responded with an olive branch, telling The Mail on Sunday: “The government is ready to talk.”
Hospital sources say they will not be able to run a full emergency service during the strikes, with warnings that A&E is understaffed.
teacher strike dates
Wednesday February 1 – England and Wales
Tuesday February 14 – Wales
Tuesday February 28 – North, North West, Yorkshire and The Humber
Wednesday March 1: East Midlands, West Midlands, East
Thursday March 2: London, South East, South West
Wednesday March 15 – England and Wales.
Thursday March 16 – England and Wales
Young doctors last went on strike in 2016, but this week’s strikes will be more severe.
Consultants will also be voted out for strikes this week if the government fails to meet pay and pension requests, the BMA said.
They are likely to be asked to cover the strike this week, but have been told by the BMA that they should expect pay for working beyond their normal terms and conditions and are not required to take on the extra workload.
The BMA told its consulting members: ‘A large number of young doctors are expected to be on strike, and it must be assumed that none will be available for work. It is essential that patient safety be maintained.
“The only feasible way to achieve this is for your employer to cancel almost all elective (routine) care before, during, and after the young doctors’ action.”
If the BMA achieves its targets, even newly graduated ‘Foundation Year 1’ doctors would earn £50,000, instead of £36,500.
But the analysis shows that pay for younger doctors (years 1 and 2 of the Foundation) has stagnated more than that of mid-ranking doctors since 2008, which helps explain why the younger team is leading the way. burden.
Dr. Runswick said in a podcast that the strikes would cause “harm” to patients, as they would result in “delayed elective care.” A health chief said the next three days would be “very, very dangerous” but that “the public does not realize the seriousness of the situation.”
A BMA spokeswoman said: “Young doctors are worth no less than they were in 2008/9 and yet this government continues to undervalue them.”