‘Major disruption’ expected as NHS consultants go on strike

“Major disruption is anticipated” at NHS hospitals through to the weekend, as senior medics walk out prior to the August bank holiday weekend as part of planned industrial action.

Empty corridors: staff holidays as well as consultants’ strike will mean only emergency care can be provided, the NHS says

Consultants will be taking strike action from 7am on tomorrow until 7am on Saturday,  August 26.

During the strike period consultants will only provide staffing levels to cover emergency care.  “This is different from strike action taken by other clinical groups because no other doctors can cover for consultants,” NHS London said in a statement issued today.

“Any planned care delivered by junior doctors or other healthcare professionals will need to be rescheduled. We expect a large number of appointments to be cancelled during the consultants’ strike,” NHS officials said.

The cumulative total of acute rescheduled inpatient and outpatient appointments and procedures over eight months of industrial action across the NHS in England now stands at 839,327.

The NHS said today: “People who need care should still come forward to access the care they need in the usual way – only using 999 and A&E in life-threatening emergencies and using NHS 111 online and other services for non-urgent health needs.

“Pharmacies and GPs are unaffected by the strikes so patients can still get appointments and health advice.”

Dr Chris Streather, the medical director for the NHS in London said that Londoners will feel the impact of the consultants’ strike “significantly”, while admitting that scheduled summer holidays would also contribute to an absence of staff this week.

“Major disruption is anticipated,” Dr Streather said.

“Doctors will only be able to attend to emergency patients.

“If you haven’t been contacted or informed that your planned appointment has been postponed, please attend as normal.”

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