Almost 200,000 hospital appointments and procedures in England were cancelled during last week’s junior doctors’ strikes, it has been revealed.
There were 20,000 more appointments cancelled in the strikes that ran between 11 and 15 April than in the shorter strike in March, NHS England figures show. A total of 27,361 staff were not at work during the peak of the strikes, though the true figure could be higher as some workforce data was incomplete.
The NHS’s national medical director, Prof Sir Stephen Powis, said the figures showed the “colossal impact of industrial action on planned care in the NHS”, with nearly half a million appointments rescheduled over the last five months.
He said every postponed appointment had “an impact on the lives of individuals and their families and creates further pressure on services and on a tired workforce – and this is likely to be an underestimate of the impact as some areas provisionally avoided scheduling appointments for these strike days”.
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Source: The Guardian, 17 April 2023