OPERATIONS and clinics have been cancelled at South Warwickshire hospitals in anticipation of the first ever full junior doctor strike.
Members of the British Medical Association (BMA) from South Warwickshire Foundation Trust (SWFT) – which runs Warwick, Leamington, Stratford and Ellen Badger hospitals – are joining those across the country to walk out in opposition of a contract which is being pushed through by the Department of Health.
They say the the changes – which are scheduled to begin this summer – will force them to work longer hours with no extra pay and potentially put patients’ lives at risk.
Junior doctors started strike action at 8am on Tuesday (April 26) and will continue until 5pm on Wednesday (April 27).
It is the first time in the history of the NHS there has been a complete strike, which includes junior doctors walking out of accident and emergency and urgent maternity services.
The trust have had to cancel 22 clinics and 29 operations to help cope with the extra workload while doctors stage the walk out.
Medical director Charles Ashton said: “During the planned industrial action we will ensure patient safety is not affected by continuing to work with the BMA.
“Where necessary consultants and other staff who are not involved in the strike will be working.
“We have reduced some non-urgent appointments to allow consultants to provide emergency care.
“Patients affected by re-scheduled clinics have been notified and therefore we are urging all patients to attend their appointment unless they are contacted by the trust directly.
“If you are unable to attend your appointment please contact the hospital as soon as possible so that this slot can be offered to another patient.”