Junior doctors are set to go on strike, after contract talks continued to stall regarding pay and working hours. As a result, there are three strike dates scheduled for December, likely to cause disruption in the build-up to Christmas and the New Year.
Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt has described his disappointment at the decision to strike, which was backed by 98% of voters. He goes on to say: “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.”
Of course, we can expect disruption to the NHS in general on the three strike dates, which have been scheduled for:
- 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).
How will the strike affect GP surgeries?
GP surgeries and hospitals all over the country are likely to be affected by the junior doctors’ strike. First and foremost, there’ll be the cancelling of appointments, tests and operations on and around these dates. Then, to cope with the demand for care, non-strike days are likely to be extremely busy.
There are sure to be debates that emergency care won’t be available, but junior doctors will provide this on the first strike date – whilst walking out in the knowledge others will be around on the latter two.
What are your thoughts on the proposed strike? Do you think striking is the right course of action? Will your GP surgery be affected by the strikes and how will you aim to limit the damage? Please leave your comments below.