Patients paying the price as more than 93,000 appointments delayed by latest junior doctor strike

01 March 2024

Responding to the latest data from NHS England showing 93,196 appointments were delayed across hospital, mental health and community services due to the latest round of industrial action by junior doctors and 1,499,301 appointments delayed since industrial action in the NHS started in December 2022, the chief executive of NHS Providers, Sir Julian Hartley said:

"The government and unions must find a way to stop this dispute dragging on any longer.

"Patients have paid far too high a price already with 1.5m hospital, mental health and community service appointments, operations and scans delayed since December 2022 because of strikes.

"But these figures tell only a small part of the story.

"We know that thousands more patients will be affected because trusts simply can't book in care on strike days.

"Behind every delay is a real and human cost. 

"What's more, strikes are expected to cost the NHS an estimated £3bn due to staff cover costs and income lost from delayed elective activity. This is piling on financial pressure at a time when trusts can least afford it.

"We cannot allow strikes to become 'business as usual' for the NHS. Politicians and unions must get back to serious talks which can address doctors' concerns, resolve the dispute, and prevent more highly disruptive walkouts."