Striking NHS doctors will not be offered more cash, the Health Secretary confirmed today.
Young doctors and consultants will stage fresh strikes next week in their ongoing dispute with the Government over pay. It will be the first time they have carried out joint action in the history of the health service, with leaders calling it a “nightmare scenario”.
But Steve Barclay today insisted there would be no further pay talks with the British Medical Association, the union co-ordinating the action in England.
It comes as the Government confirmed it will give the NHS £200m to bolster the service over the winter, which is the busiest time of year due to the influx of Covid and flu patients, while this year it will also make do with strikes.
But health chiefs warned today that funding will be swallowed up by the health service’s £1bn bill to cover the strikes, and that strikes scheduled for September alone will cost more than £200m.
Steve Barclay today insisted there will be no further pay talks with the British Medical Association, the union co-ordinating the action in England.
Young doctors and consultants will stage fresh strikes next week in their ongoing dispute with the Government over pay. It will be the first time they have carried out a joint action in the history of the health service, and leaders called it a “nightmare scenario.” In the photo: Young doctors on strike in April 2023
Junior doctors and consultants will go on a joint 24-hour strike from 7am on September 20, with doctors only offering the Christmas Day level of service, meaning emergency care will be provided but not They will perform elective operations.
Consultants will also go on strike on September 19, while junior doctors will continue to strike until 7am on September 23.
NHS Confederation chief executive Matthew Taylor described the strikes as “the nightmare scenario NHS leaders have long feared” and warned it is “inevitable” that patient safety will be at risk.
Doctors have demanded a salary increase above inflation, a figure that until now young doctors had set at 35 percent.
The Government has offered doctors, along with other public sector workers, a six per cent pay rise. Junior doctors also received a one-off payment of £1,250.
This means the basic salary for the first-year junior doctor has increased from £29,300 to £32,300, while the full-time starting basic salary for consultants has increased from £88,300 to £93,600.
The Health Secretary told Times Radio this morning: “We have reached a fair and final agreement in terms of remuneration.”
Barclay added: “Their demand is 35 per cent and I don’t think offering 35 per cent is fair, to nurses, to paramedics, to members of our armed forces, to teachers and others, both in the public sector as in the private sector.
‘And we are also committed as a government to reducing inflation – that is important for everyone within the NHS and across the economy.
“So we have to be balanced in our approach.”
It comes as the Prime Minister today confirmed he is giving the NHS £200 million to “strengthen the health service during its busiest period, while protecting elective care so we can continue to cut waiting lists”.
The announcement came yesterday following a roundtable discussion with Prime Minister Barclay, clinical leaders and NHS chiefs to discuss the NHS’s preparation for the colder months.
The NHS is thrown into chaos every winter due to a surge of patients affected by seasonal viruses, respiratory illnesses and, in recent years, Covid.
But this year it also has to deal with a record 7.68 million people queuing for care, strikes among its workforce and an exodus of staff.
Barclay said: “I know winter poses immense challenges for the NHS and that is why we are working with health leaders to make sure we are prepared sooner.”
“We are working closely with trusts to see how we can continue to use technology and new ways of working to strengthen health and social services.”
He added: “Yesterday I heard and witnessed first-hand how all parts of the NHS are coming together to ensure it is resilient to winter pressures for years to come.”
Speaking on BBC Breakfast, he said plans will focus on tackling delayed discharges, which last winter meant hospitals were unable to provide beds to sick Britons because they were occupied by people who could return home.
He said virtual wards, which allow patients to receive treatment and care at home rather than in hospital, will reduce pressure on hospitals.
The announcement came yesterday following a roundtable discussion with Prime Minister Barclay, clinical leaders and NHS chiefs to discuss the NHS’s preparation for the colder months. Pictured: Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, Health Secretary Steve Barclay and NHS England chief Amanda Pritchard at a roundtable at 10 Downing Street on September 13.
The Prime Minister today confirmed that he is giving the NHS £200 million to “strengthen the health service during its busiest period, while protecting elective care so we can continue to cut waiting lists.” . Pictured: NHS officials and leaders at a meeting on September 13
Barclay said: “It’s very popular.” Many patients say they would prefer to recover from their operation at home in familiar surroundings, but want to do so knowing that they have the comfort of a safety net in terms of clinical support available.’
The health service has already received £1bn as part of an emergency care recovery plan to increase its number of beds, ambulances and virtual wards.
And £40 million has been donated to increase social care capacity and discharge rates.
However, Mr Taylor of the NHS Confederation warned that the financial boost will not be felt due to the toll of ongoing strikes on the workforce.
He said the NHS leader “may question the impact” the money will have as we are close to winter and strikes have already cost the health service £1 billion.
Mr Taylor said: “The risk is that this money will simply be absorbed to cover existing and increasing costs elsewhere, with patients seeing little benefit in terms of daily care, waiting lists or performance.”
‘There are still serious challenges to be resolved, the most pressing of which is the strike, and simply wishing it away will not make that happen. “We need this situation to be resolved because it has already gone too far.”
He warned that the costs of the strikes by consultants, junior doctors and radiologists in September alone “will likely cost more than £200m, negating the effects of this new money and putting patient safety at the highest level of risk we have seen in a long time”. time’.