Some operations and clinics will be cancelled due to junior doctors strike, NGH says

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Planned surgery and clinics at Northampton General Hospital will be cancelled during the upcoming junior doctor strikes in order to keep other patients safe, the chief executive has said.

Junior doctors in England have overwhelmingly voted in favour of going on strike in their dispute with ministers over a new contract.

About 98 per cent voted in favour of a full strike and 99 per cent in favour of action just short of a full strike.

The first walk-out will start on December 1 with another two dates earmarked for later in the month.

Dr Sonia Swart said: “Following today’s announcement, we are working with our senior medical staff, front line clinical staff including nurses and support staff to develop contingency plans to ensure patient safety is maintained at all times.

“There will be some disruption to routine services although we will make every attempt to minimise this for our patients.

“We know that we will have to cancel some elective procedures and outpatient clinics so that we can maintain patient safety during any period of industrial action or strike.

“Once our plans are finalised, we will be contacting those patients who are affected to let them know of the changes and to make alternative arrangements.”

Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt said the strike vote is “regrettable” and will put patients at risk.

He said: “We want to ensure patients have the same quality of care across the week, and have put forward a generous offer that increases basic pay by 11 per cent and reduces doctors’ hours.

“We hope junior doctors will consider the impact this action – especially the withdrawal of emergency care – will have on patients and reconsider.

“Study after study has shown that our mortality rates at weekends are too high.

“We put forward a very fair offer for doctors, which will see pay go up for three-quarters of junior doctors. We wanted to talk about this to them, but in the end they have chosen to strike so we will have to put in contingency plans.”

He also said that the Government’s offer had been “misrepresented”.

The dates for industrial action are:

08:00 GMT 1 December to 08:00 GMT 2 December (junior doctors to staff emergency care)

08:00 GMT to 17:00 8 December (full strike)

08:00 GMT to 17:00 16 December (full strike)