Arbitration urged to break deadlock and stave off more NHS strikes

23 June 2023

In response to news of a planned five-day strike by junior doctors next month, Sir Julian Hartley, chief executive of NHS Providers, said:

"Trust leaders, staff and patients will have that sinking feeling at the prospect of five straight days of strike disruption, the longest ever single period of industrial action in the history of the NHS.

"After a three-day walkout by junior doctors already this month, forcing more than 100,000 more procedures and appointments to be rescheduled (more than 651,000 in total since December) and with nurses, radiographers and consultants – who could strike for two days in July – being balloted too this figure is bound to rise by many thousands more.

"Trust leaders' priority throughout any industrial action will remain to keep patients safe and deliver high-quality care but this is getting tougher the longer strikes persist, and it's getting more and more expensive to find cover for staff on picket lines.

"This can't go on and become 'business as usual'. We urge the government and unions to break the deadlock and enter arbitration to find a way to end disruptive strikes."