Peterborough City Hospital has given the green light for controversial new junior doctors’ contracts which have prompted the first full walk-out in NHS history.
The hospital confirmed it is working towards implementing the new contracts a month after it said it was undecided on the matter.
The row between junior doctors and the government has resulted in several days of industrial action, and further strikes on April 26 and 27 will for the first time not see emergency cover in place.
In a statement, the Peterborough and Stamford Hospitals Foundation Trust said it will be “working on implementing the government contract for the junior doctors. Rotas are being examined to factor in the specified mandatory breaks.”
The trust is also preparing for the full walk-out which will affect both the city hospital and Stamford and Rutland Hospital between 8am and 5pm.
A spokeswoman added: “We are identifying the exact numbers of staff needed for next month’s all-out strike. Elective work will be curtailed and consultants will be deployed into the roles of absent junior colleagues.”
Elective work is non-emergency, pre-planned operations.
Another planned walk-out will take place between 8am on Wednesday, April 6 to 8am on Friday, April 8 but emergency care will be provided.
The government said the last sticking point over the contracts revolves around Saturday pay.
The British Medical Association said the government is ploughing ahead with contracts which junior doctors still have concerns about.
The city hospital in Bretton has seen greater numbers of patients come through A&E in the past fortnight.
Sunday and Monday (March 20-21) saw “unprecedented demand” at the Emergency Department with a 40 per cent rise on the expected turnout.
The hospital trust and Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Clinical Commissioning Group both issued statements asking people to consider other options before visiting A&E.