The first ever planned 24-hour strike by NHS junior doctors in England was called off this evening.
Whilst the strike is not going to go ahead, there have been implications for 4,000 patients as treatments and surgeries have been delayed. This is because junior doctors make up 50,000 of the medical profession. They are often not always those who have recently graduated.
The planned strike, which was backed by 98% of the British Medical Association (BMA) members, was over a dispute between junior doctors and the government, following a change to working hours and pay packages for the doctors. It resulted in the concern by the BMA that they would become overworked.
The cancellation is only a suspension however, following Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt’s announcement that he will remove his threat to impose the new contract upon doctors.
He has contended that the contract unintentionally made it difficult for hospitals to create sensible and safe rotas for doctors.
The BMA have said that if the next round of talks with the government does not reach a permanent deal, there may be industrial action after the 13th January 2016.
The biggest impact has been a re-shuffle and prioritisation of patients which has been necessary to ensure the most vulnerable patients have had their treatment first. This is because the strike was called off so close to its start time which was 8am on Tuesday 1st December.
(Image: Tammi Nowell)