Patients will be stranded in hospitals over Christmas due to junior doctor strikes | UK | News

December 20, 2023
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Patients will be left stranded in hospital this Christmas due to junior doctor strikes, Health Secretary Victoria Atkins has warned.

She said walkouts were “not the way” to secure a better pay rise as union bosses faced fresh fury over holding the NHS to ransom.

Hospital bosses say “almost all” routine care will be cancelled as they prioritise emergency and urgent care during the 72-hour strike that began yesterday.

Ms Atkins said the walkout “will mean that people will stay in hospital longer because hospitals will not be able to discharge them.

“So, there will be people spending Christmas in hospital rather than at home. That is an enormous cost for individuals and for their families. But also for other members of the healthcare service because junior doctors appear to expect consultants and others to pick up their work for them.”

Age UK, the NHS Confederation, Healthwatch England, National Voices and the Patients Association have written to the British Medical Association and the Government expressing concern that more than 13,000 patients could be stuck in hospitals over Christmas despite being medically fit for discharge.

BMA chief Prof Philip Banfield said it was focusing on retaining doctors “with up to £100,000 of debt, having trained for five years”.



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