Almost 650,000 NHS appointments cancelled so far this year due to strikes – and there's more on the way | The Sun

ALMOST 650,000 NHS appointments and operations have been postponed so far this year due to a wave of strikes.

The unprecedented industrial action has caused widespread disruption since December 2022 – and there's more chaos on the way.

The first mass walkout of nurses in history took place just before Christmas – with ambulance workers, physiotherapists and other health staff following suit in subsequent weeks.

In March this year, junior doctors began the first in a ripple of strikes, heaping further disruption on the health service.

Some 648,000 appointments, procedures and operations have been pushed back as a result of the strikes in England alone.

And as the NHS braces itself for the largest doctors' strike in history, just days after its 75th anniversary, further cancellations are inevitable.


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They will walk out for five days from July 13 to 18.

And consultants – the most senior doctors in the NHS – are planning to stage industrial action July 20 to 21, where they will only provide scaled-back "Christmas day cover".

Hard liners are even threatening to continue their action beyond 2025.

The British Medical Association has urged the Government to enter talks using the conciliation service Acas, saying that a precondition to not get round the table when strikes are planned is a "completely artificial red line".

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Acas today said it is "well prepared and ready to help" resolve the bitter dispute.

Health Secretary Steve Barclay insisted that his door is still open for negotiations and he is willing to offer a bigger pay rise, but said that there needs to be "movement on both sides".

Some unions have settled the matter with ministers after the NHS Staff Council voted to accept the Government's revised pay offer for staff of the Agenda for Change contract – including paramedics, nurses and physiotherapists.

This means that staff on the contract – which includes more than a million NHS workers – saw a bump in their pay packet at the end of June.

The new offer represented a five per cent pay rise this year and a cash sum for last year for the majority of staff on the contract – which includes all NHS workers apart from doctors, dentists and very senior managers.

But the Royal College of Nursing (RCN) and Unite rejected the offer, though a ballot of RCN recently revealed that nurses did not wish to continue with strikes.

The Society of Radiographers has reached the mandate to strike and said that it is likely walkouts will take place later this month at 43 trusts around England.

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