Trusts renew plea to end stand-off as strike-hit appointments reach over 750,000

19 July 2023

Responding to new figures showing 754,555 appointments across acute, mental health and community services have had to be rescheduled due to industrial action since December – 103,323 of which were from the recent junior doctors' five-day strike – Saffron Cordery, deputy chief executive at NHS Providers said:

"Now 754,555 appointments have had to be put back due to industrial action across England since December, right across hospital, ambulance, mental health and community services. That number is bound to soar when senior doctors strike this week.

"And after a strike, the knock-on effects mean tens of thousands more appointments also have to be rescheduled, so the number will keep climbing.

"Trust leaders understand the strength of feeling among staff. The NHS has had to deal with eight straight months of disruptive and demoralising industrial action. Costly strikes can’t become the norm.

"There will be a long-lasting effect on already low staff morale and satisfaction. The less valued overworked NHS staff feel, the more patients are at risk. Trusts worry about the long-term effects on patients having their care delayed when waiting lists are at record highs.

"Trusts continue to pull out all the stops to minimise disruption and keep patients safe, but that's getting tougher and more expensive due to the rising multi-million pound cost of providing cover for wave after wave of industrial action.

"More strikes can and must be avoided for the sake of patients and staff. We urge the government and unions to end the stand-off by entering serious talks about pay."