A very difficult day for the NHS

12 March 2023

Speaking ahead of the 72 hour strike by junior doctors starting tomorrow (Monday 13 March), the deputy chief executive of NHS Providers, Saffron Cordery, said:

"The situation is likely to vary from place to place depending on the response to the walkout from junior doctors, and from consultants and specialist doctors who will be providing cover.

"Trust leaders have been working hard to mitigate the impact but the scale and duration of this strike means disruption for patients will move to the next level. It will be a very difficult day for the NHS.

"It's right that key areas will be prioritised including emergency and intensive care and maternity. Trusts will do all they can to prevent disruption to cancer care and treatment for patients facing the longest delays.

"But even in these areas it will not look like business as usual.

"Recent industrial action has already resulted in more than 140,000 planned procedures and appointments being rescheduled.

"For trust leaders caught in the middle of this dispute the effort involved in keeping services going is a major and unwelcome distraction from the key strategic issues the NHS needs to address, including backlog recovery.

"Worryingly, there appears to be little immediate prospect of the government and the British Medical Association getting together to find a way through.

"It's important that everyone understands the impact of continuing industrial action on patients, staff and the NHS. We need a rapid resolution."