No let-up in pressure on services amid junior doctors' strike

14 March 2023

Commenting on the effects of day one of this week's strike by junior doctors, NHS Providers chief executive Sir Julian Hartley said:

"So far, so difficult for the NHS but the health service is still there for patients.

"Unlike previous strikes, it's noticeable that there has been no let-up in the demand for care.

"Senior doctors are stepping into the breach but it isn't business as usual. For hospital patients that means it's taking longer for admissions and the discharge process is also slower.

"Ambulance handover delays are up too.

"We're seeing increased levels of cover by senior doctors in mental health and community services but it isn't sustainable and trust leaders are worried about 'burning goodwill'.

"The planning effort involved in preparing for the strike and keeping services going has been huge and has taken leaders' time away from other work. We can't go on like this. The knock-on effects of a three-day strike will be felt for a long time to come.

"We need the government and the doctors' unions to come to an agreement quickly."