Disruption avoided as junior doctors strike

Junior doctors on strike outside the City Hospital
Junior doctors on strike outside the City Hospital
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Operations were cancelled at Peterborough City Hospital as junior doctors staged a 24 hour strike.

A picket took place outside the Bretton hospital on Tuesday as the national strike of BMA members started at 8am.

However, a spokeswoman for Peterborough and Stamford Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust said the industrial action had only caused minimal disruption to services.

George Collins, a junior doctor at the hospital who took part in the action said: “We are against the implementation of the new junior doctor contract the Government is pushing through.

“We say it is unsafe for patients and doctors, as it removed the safe guards for doctors being over worked, and over tired.

“Although the idea of the contract is a good one, the way it has been implemented has not been done very well. We feel we have been backed into a corner.”

A strike in December was cancelled at the last minute following union talks.

More strikes are planned for later in the month.

However, Mr Collins said people had supported the strikers outside the hospital. He said; “We have been offering a service which would normally be offered on a Sunday, so it is not a complete walk out.

“No-one wants to be on strike, and everyone here has done so with a heavy heart.

“The picket has been largely supported by people coming to the hospital, whether patients, visitors or staff.

“Almost every other car has been beeping their support for us, and we have had lots of comments from people.

“We hope we can get a deal done to avoid the strikes in the future.

“This is not about the hospital trust at all, but about the terms offered by the Government.”

Dr Kanchan Rege, Medical Director, said: “Our contingency planning helped ensure that as few patients as possible were affected by the junior doctors’ strike on Tuesday.

“Approximately 75 outpatient appointments were cancelled and 17 day case procedures were postponed as a result of the Trust not being able to provide sufficient medical cover to certain patient lists.

“We apologise to those patients who were affected and we are aiming to reschedule their appointments for as soon as possible.

“In addition we are now working on further contingency plans for the next round of junior doctors’ action later this month. Our patients’ safety is our main priority and we are committed to providing high quality of care at all times.”